The NBA declared on Wednesday that players who have not received a Covid-19 vaccine will not be paid for missed games, meaning a potential loss worth millions of dollars to their salaries.
There is currently no requirement on the part of the NBA for league players to have had a vaccine, though they do operate under tighter restrictions. However, some teams have been affected by local legislation banning unvaccinated people from certain spaces, including indoor sports venues. New York and San Francisco are two such cities, making it impossible for unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors players to appear at home games.
Claims from the NBA place the number of fully vaccinated athletes in the league at around 90%, which greatly exceeds that of the general population in the US. However, certain high-profile players have refused to disclose whether or not they are among the remaining 10%, including Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State. “I’d love to just keep that private and handle it in the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan,” said Irving.
The day before the announcement, LeBron James said he was at first “very skeptical” about receiving the vaccine, but has since decided it was “the right thing to do.”