NBA players who miss games for violating local regulations against covid-19 will no longer receive the salary corresponding to those games, the North American basketball league warned on Wednesday.
This decision implies, for example, that unvaccinated players on teams in cities like San Francisco or New York, where full immunization is required for indoor events, run the risk of seeing their annual salary cut in half, at least.
“Any player who chooses not to comply with local immunization mandates will not receive payment for games he misses,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement to reporters.
The NBA notice comes amid tensions between the league and a minority of players who have so far refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Within that minority, which is estimated at 10% of the total number of players, includes the point guard Kyrie Irving, one of the stars of the Brooklyn Nets, who at the beginning of this week could not attend the presentation to the media of the franchise. and, interviewed by videoconference, refused to clarify his status and position regarding the vaccine.
The Nets, one of the favorite teams in the ring, thus run the risk of not being able to count on Irving for their games in Brooklyn (New York).
In San Francisco (California), local regulations against the pandemic could also exclude Andrew Wiggins, Canadian forward for the Golden State Warriors, out of the middle of games.
Wiggins applied for a religious exemption to avoid the vaccine but was denied by the NBA last week.
“I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe and for what I believe is right,” Wiggins said Monday. “What is correct for one person is not correct for another and vice versa.”
The Warriors’ first game in San Francisco of the regular season will take place against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 21. (AFP)