NBA won’t force vaccine on players, report says

Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat

Golden State Warriors goalie Stephen Curry attempts a shot in the third quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena in this file photo taken on April 1, 2021 (Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA will exempt its players from being vaccinated against COVID-19 while requiring referees and most staff to be vaccinated, ESPN reported on Tuesday.

The NBA and NBPA continue to negotiate other COVID-19 protocols for the coming season, but the vaccine tenure is a non-starter with the union, according to the report. However, the league offers strict protocols for players who are not vaccinated.

Those protocols, not yet agreed upon, could include eating and traveling outside of vaccinated teammates as well as being in another part of the locker room, according to the report.

Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA Finals

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates winning the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 to win the 2021 NBA Finals at the Fiserv Forum on July 20, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Getty Images via AFP)

About 85% of players are vaccinated, the league said.

The league informed teams last month that staff who work within 15 feet of players or officials during games must be vaccinated by October 31. 1, according to the report.

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