The 2021-22 season will bring a return to semi-normalcy for the NBA after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected a largely odd and bizarre 2020-21 campaign.
It was a bit unsettling to watch games last season as there were limited to no fans in most arenas, which meant the energy level on most nights felt non-existent. However, with the widespread distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the NBA is finally easing up on its health and safety protocols.
The league is expected to allow teams to return to normal bench seating and players and team personnel that are vaccinated will have fewer restrictions throughout the season. However, according to Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, players will not be required to be vaccinated:
NBA players will not be mandated to get vaccinated against COVID-19, league sources tell ESPN.
The NBA and NBPA continue to negotiate aspects of COVID-related protocols and procedures for the upcoming 2021-22 campaign, but the NBPA has refused to budge on its demand that players not be required to take the vaccine, sources say, and any proposal that mandates vaccination remains a “non-starter.”
There has been a lot of discussion over whether or not individuals must be vaccinated given that the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, but in this case, it appears that the NBPA is set on leaving that decision up to the players. For the most part, it seems that most teams have done their part in getting vaccinated, though there are surely others who are reserving their right not to get it.
The NBA saw teams like the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics hit hard by the virus, which forced several games to be rescheduled and it would not be surprising to see a similar situation play out this season. No one can say for sure whether or not the upcoming year will go smoother than last, but at least there seems to be some confidence that the league will be better equipped to handle any obstacles this time around.
Personnel required to be vaccinated for 2021-22 season
Although the players do not have to be vaccinated, the NBA is mandating that all personnel whose job requires close contact or interaction with them must be vaccinated during the 2021-22 season.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!