NBA vaccine mandate disrupts the season

Jaylen Kinnie-Bethea, Staff Reporter

Anti-Vaccine  NBA players are putting their teams in tough positions with the NBA’s new safety protocol for the 2021-2022 season.

The NBA has created new restrictions for the non-vaccinated players this season. Now even though over 95% of the league is vaccinated as of October 3rd 2021, multiple big names have voiced that they are against the vaccine or have not stated their status on the vaccine at all. Some of these big names are Kyrie Irving, Jonathan Issacs, and Bradley Beal.

Even without the NBA mandate, certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York City, will not allow players to attend any indoor events without proof of full vaccination, which means unvaccinated players who are on teams in this city will have to miss all of their home games and more. 

Other restrictions include having to be regularly tested, not being able to eat meals with the team; they cannot be in a locker room with the team, and they also have to quarantine if someone they are in close contact with has Covid, something vaccinated players do not have to do. 

Kyrie Irving, a player for the Brooklyn Nets is currently one of the famous faces in this issue of vaccination. He is refusing to state whether he will be getting vaccinated or not. He has not been able to attend any of the practices or team events in Brooklyn, where they require players to be vaccinated to do indoor sports, and joined media day via a Zoom call. 

A huge controversy is ongoing within the league because of this incident, with multiple reporters claiming Irving is selfish and letting his team down. While others are saying it is his choice and he should be able to make the decision for himself and should not be forced to get the vaccine. 

“I understand people want to have their own personal opinions on topics like vaccination but right now for the good of the whole country we are trying to get out of this situation and if you’re not willing to do that then I can certainly see it affecting team chemistry because there might not be as much trust between teammates,” said Mr. Sean Dunn, a girls basketball coach at NHS when asked how this controversy will affect team chemistry.

The issue of trust among Americans can be applicable to other parts of society, such as teachers in schools, workers in restaurants, and other places where employees need a vaccine to continue doing their job. 

Recently The Hartford Healthcare employees have rallied against a vaccine mandate put in place by the company. A group of around 50 people protested outside Hartford Hospital, chanting “Just say no to vaccines!” and holding up Anti-Vaccine mandate signs. The signs consisted of phrases such as God’s body, my choice and Freedom, not force.

Hartford Healthcare announced the vaccine mandate in July and since there has been a complete divide between workers. Only 75% of Hartford employees are vaccinated meaning with this mandate over 25% of their employees will be unable to work there. 

Overall the topic of vaccination has created a national divide stirring up tons of controversy and arguing between civilians and politicians. Currently there are only 19 states that mandate vaccination for state workers which are Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts.  This number can expand and vaccine mandates will likely become stricter due to the new variants of COVID-19, meaning the resistance against the vaccine mandate will rise and become more demanding in response. 

 The high amount of restrictions within the NBA will likely become the norm for all forms of  work in the future, which will affect work spaces as a whole as it is affecting the NBA as a whole. The resistance to vaccine mandates is high and similar to the NBA situation many workers would rather not work if vaccine mandates are enforced. Which will affect the work spaces as the NBA is being affected now.