The NBA sent out a memo on Monday informing teams that every one players would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a medical clearance to play in Canada this upcoming season, in response to ESPN.
This policy, set by the Canadian government, is an extension from last season and is consistent with the country’s expectation for anyone entering the country. That features Raptors players as they travel between the U.S. and Canada.
As well as, players who’re unable to play on account of not meeting this requirement can be listed as “Out – Health and Safety Protocols” and need to give up any payment for the desired games.
These rules, which were instituted this past January in the course of the 2021-22 regular season, have already had a ripple effect throughout the league.
Kyrie Irving, who missed nearly all of the Brooklyn Nets home season on account of a Latest York vaccine mandate, stays one in all the league’s most outspoken holdouts against the vaccine. Similarly, Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers missed all three first round playoff games in Toronto against the Raptors. Thybulle received his first dose of the vaccine, but didn’t get the second shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
The Canadian policy proved touchy for a handful of teams, especially within the leadup to the postseason. Some — comparable to the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks — were quick to announce their team was fully vaccinated; others — just like the Boston Celtics — were more reticent when asked about roster availability should they face the Raptors.
In the beginning of last season, the NBA announced that 95% of players were vaccinated against COVID-19. Several notable players including Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins initially opposed the vaccine, before eventually getting it through the regular season.