Sep 29, 2021 - Sports

Unvaccinated NBA players sidelined by vaccine mandates will lose pay

Andrew Wiggins finishing a layup
Andrew Wiggins finishing a layup. Photo: Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA announced that unvaccinated players who do not comply with local vaccine mandates will not be paid for the games they miss, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: San Francisco and New York where the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are based — have vaccine mandates in place that require players to be vaccinated before playing in their home arena. Players on those teams who are not vaccinated could miss up to 41 home games next season.

  • The NBA had previously proposed a vaccine mandate, but the National Basketball Players Association rejected the proposal, according to ESPN.

Details: The NBA's executive vice president of communications Mike Bass announced Wednesday the league's pay policy regarding vaccine mandates, per ESPN.

  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins was denied a vaccine exemption last week and called his vaccination status "private" in a press conference this week, according to ESPN.
  • "It's my problem," Wiggins said when asked about the possibility of losing earnings. "Not yours."
  • NBA star Kyrie Irving, who has not publicly stated whether he's vaccinated, was not at the Brooklyn Nets media day on Monday as a result of New York's order, per ESPN.

Driving the news: In New York, the order that went into effect this month mandates that home team athletes must have at least one shot.

  • San Francisco's policy, which goes into effect next month, requires proof of full vaccination for anyone attending or participating in large indoor events.
  • The New York Knicks announced Friday that the entire organization was vaccinated.

Of note: Visiting players are exempt from local mandates, per ESPN.

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