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NBA players in New York City and San Francisco who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID will not be paid for missed games.
“Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement.
The Association has not made it mandatory for players to be vaccinated, Yahoo reports.
“A vaccine mandate for NBA players would need an agreement with the Players Association,” said Bass. “The NBA has made these proposals, but the players’ union has rejected any vaccination requirement.”
According to reports, unvaccinated players on the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors will lose millions if they refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
As reported by TMZ, Warriors wing Andrew Wiggins — who is in a 5-year, $147,710,050 deal — will reportedly pass up on $15.8 million this season … while Nets guard Kyrie Irving — 4-year, $136,490,600 contract — will forfeit $17.5 million.
“I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of the fact that 90% of the league is vaccinated,” NBPA president CJ McCollum tweeted on Monday.
“Over 90% of our players are fully vaccinated,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN. “Nationally, on average only 55% of Americans are. The real story is not why vaccination isn’t mandated in the NBA. … The real story for proponents of vaccination is how can we emulate the players in the NBA.”
Meanwhile, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has called on the NBA to require all players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be booted from the team.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Abdul-Jabbar called vaccine deniers “disingenuous”.
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team. There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff, and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research,” the former athlete said.
“What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?” he continued.
Hear more from Kareem on the subject via the YouTube clip above.