Unvaccinated NBA players ‘hit with travel ban’ as league tells teams to name unjabbed stars
NBA stars who are not vaccinated face new travel restrictions following a government ruling on Covid rules, according to a report claiming that teams have been told to give league bosses a list of unjabbed players immediately.
Amid a tightening of protocols following the spread of the new Omicron variant, new Canadian laws are mandating that all visitors entering the country must be vaccinated.
Although there are limited exceptions, anyone who meets the criteria must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
ESPN learned of the development via a memo obtained by reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, which also applies to unvaccinated players who travel outside the US on All-Star Weekend in late February.
Any unvaccinated NBA player with temporary VISA status leaving the country will be unable to re-enter the United States, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. For example, a player would be unable to re-enter after playing in Canada, or traveling outside U.S. on All-Star weekend.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 7, 2021
NBA informed teams today that unvaccinated players will no longer be allowed to travel to Toronto to play games beginning on January 15, according to the memo. New Canadian law mandates that all visitors entering the country be vaccinated.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 7, 2021
That has caused the NBA to reportedly inform teams on Tuesday that any unvaccinated players will not be allowed to travel to Toronto to face the Colorado Raptors in games from January 15 onwards.
Teams have also been told to inform the league of unvaccinated players by Friday.
The Raptors could also be affected when playing games in the US and returning to Canada, which has fully vaccinated 77 percent – just over 29.1 million people – of its 38 million population.
Ninety-seven percent of NBA players are said to have been vaccinated, while ESPN sources claim that more than 60 percentt have taken booster shots.
How is this ok? This is TYRANNY. Players need to speak out!‼️— BEST (@LifeOfBEST) December 7, 2021
Just get the vaccine bruh.— Chasing Wins🍥 Dubs (20-4)🎄 (@_b0y1da_) December 7, 2021
Kyrie's day is just getting worse and worse 😭— Joel Embiid’s OTHER Child (@EmbiidJr) December 7, 2021
Yet rebels such as Kyrie Irving, of the Brooklyn Nets, have been sidelined for their refusal to comply with protocol while taking a major pay hit.
The Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins originally declined but ultimately changed his stance, admitting that he believed "the only options [were] to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA".
Speaking out against the news, social media onlookers called the move "tyranny" and demanded that players "speak out" against it.
NBA checking those bad cards to make sure they are real pic.twitter.com/TPsl4FNzen— Aminu SZN 🔥🔥🔥🔥 (@hoyasnoles) December 7, 2021
When you see how vaccinated Andrew Wiggins plays, how do you not get your shot?! 🤣— Serendipitous Curiosity (@DeevesRobison) December 7, 2021
"Just get the vaccine, bruh," a vaccine exponent on the other side of the debate suggested.
Others were more lighthearted poking fun at Irving and how he might have taken the new measures when learning about them.
"When you see how vaccinated Andrew Wiggins plays, how do you not get your shot?," one asked in jest.