NBA Vaccine Mandate

by Kaleb Smitherman

It’s almost been a year and a half since the whole country shut down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. One topic many people were concerned about due to the virus was the National Basketball Association. During the pandemic, teams eligible for the Playoffs met in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The 2020 NBA Playoffs were the craziest we’ve probably ever seen. In the Finals, the Lakers and Heat faced off with the Lakers coming out on top. 

Last season was very, very interesting. Stephen Curry was playing like he was back in 2016, and Chris Paul and the Suns were virtually unstoppable. Nikola Jokic won MVP, the last Center to win before him was Tim Duncan, in 2003. Jokic also helped the Nuggets to the 3rd Seed in the loaded West. The season also proved that Lebron is regressing, and the Lakers aren’t invincible as many have said. The underdog Bucks beat the Suns in 6 games.

Throughout the last season, a lot of people brought up the word that is our topic: Vaccines. Many players got their shots, and many did not. Arena’s required masks, and those that had identification proving they have been vaccinated did not need masks depending on the venue. With the season starting on October 19th, many issues have arisen due to the vaccine mandate. Brooklyn Nets’ star Point Guard Kyrie Irving has refused to get vaccinated and as repercussions were to come, they did. NBA league officials have said that Irving will not be paid for 41 home games due to Brooklyn’s local mandates. 

One player who has tried to fight the mandates but have failed notably: Golden State Warriors’ Forward, Andrew Wiggins. He chose to not comply with the San Francisco vaccine mandate and was told he would not be paid for home games. He chose to get the vaccine. Washington Wizards’ star Guard, Bradley Beal, like Irving refused the vaccine but, unlike Wiggins and Irving, Beal will not be required to miss home games. I, personally, believe you can not force or pressure a person into getting a shot they do not want. America is the land of the free, and the land of choice. If the government wants a nation to respect it, let the people choose. I’m Kaleb Smitherman, and that’s my take. 

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