The NBA will not pay players who miss games for not getting vaccinated thumbnail

The NBA will not pay players who miss games for not getting vaccinated

There are 19 days until the NBA begins and the American league is working against the clock to solve the problem that has arisen with unvaccinated players. According to the agreement reached 15 days ago, immunization was only mandatory for referees, coaches and the rest of the team employees, not for athletes. But the laws enacted by the states of New York and San Francisco, which require having the complete guideline to work in companies and carry out activities in closed areas, has unleashed the conflict. Players like Andrew Wiggins, of the Warriors, or Kyrie Irving, of the Brooklyn Nets, who have publicly declared their refusal to be vaccinated, could not play the games that their teams play at home, 41 in the regular season. The dilemma and debate in the league now travel from the effort to convince sanctions to pressure.

The 65 pages of the competition’s health and safety protocols for the 2021-2022 season include, for the unvaccinated, restrictions practically identical to those that existed before the vaccine – being separated from their companions in meals and travel, maintaining Isolated lockers in the changing rooms, wear a mask whenever they are not on the court, limitation of movements and contacts, and present a negative PCR the day before each match and another on the same day of the match, among other measures. But, not even complying with all this, the unvaccinated of the local teams could play in New York and San Francisco. Players with the full guideline will only be tested when they show symptoms and quarantines will be limited to exceptional circumstances. A search for normality that is expected to culminate with full capacity in the pavilions.

But, in addition to these regulations, the organization and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) are already working on the discounts, sanctions and fines that will apply to the unvaccinated who are banned from competing for their decision. Payroll discounts are, for now, the slightest measure the league is going to take, but political pressure calls for punishments greater. “Players who choose not to get vaccinated will not be paid for the games they miss,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass confirmed Wednesday, explaining that the league had rejected the exemption request “for religious reasons.” which Wiggins did, in compliance with the US Department of Health’s order for vaccination. The Warriors player, with a token of 27 million euros, would lose more than 350,000 dollars, about 298,000 euros, for each game he cannot play.

“We have a problem that needs to be solved,” explained José Manuel Calderón, advisor to the executive director of the players’ union, Michele Roberts, in Hanging from the hoop. “There are many social and legal parameters that must be analyzed. None of the conventions and agreements that we have was prepared for something like that. What is clear is that New York and San Francisco have marked the line of either you get vaccinated or you don’t play. And that law is above the guidelines established by the NBA itself, ”Calderón analyzes. “We still have time and work is being done to define the specific situation in which the unvaccinated would be left,” the former Spanish international closes.

The percentage of vaccination in the NBA, out of the 450 players in the league, currently reaches 91%, far behind the overall 57% of the US population. Only about 40 players remain to be vaccinated and that number is expected to decline even more in the coming days. But the magnitude of the problem far exceeds the number of those involved. And politics has intersected with sport, even reaching the Spanish Congress of Deputies. The issue was brought up by the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, in the parliamentary control session to respond to Miriam Nogueras, spokesperson for Junts per Catalunya on the dialogue table.

“Right now there is a problem in the NBA, there are several players who have spoken out against getting vaccinated,” said Sánchez. “There is an NBA star (Kyrie Irving) who says he does not want to be vaccinated because there is a conspiracy to vaccinate blacks and connect them to a computer that has a satanic plan. This is true, it is textual. Where do I want to go? Well, honestly, your honor (…) not even you believe what you are saying here in the Cortes Generales today ”, completed the president of the government, wielding basketball news in Parliament.

The icons of the NBA, historical and contemporary, have also positioned themselves on the matter with varying degrees of vehemence. “Athletes must lead the vaccination battle. There is no place in the NBA for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of teammates and fans, ”said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “The unvaccinated should not be on the teams. The players are free not to receive the vaccine, but they must also have enough courage so that their moral convictions leave them out for the whole season, ”said the legendary Lakers player. “I was very skeptical,” LeBron James explained when asked about the vaccine. “I did my research and it seemed to me that it was the best, not only for me but for my family and my friends. So I decided to do it. But it is not my job to promote vaccination. It is an individual question ”, completed the star of Akron. 19 days before the start of the competition, the debate is open.

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