The Golden State Warriors are among three NBA teams whose local vaccination mandates dictate that individual players cannot play games at their own home arena unless they are fully vaccinated.
With strict new coronavirus restrictions looming in both San Francisco and New York City, members of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination may not be able to attend their home games this year. Starting October 13th, the city of San Francisco will require proof of full vaccination for people 12 and over who want to go to an indoor event that will have more than a thousand guests. Warriors games meet that criteria.
In a memo to NBA staff obtained by CNBC, the league says Warriors players will have to get vaccinated to play at Chase Center unless they have exemptions for medical or religious reasons. The same goes for players on the Nets and the Knicks because starting on September 13th in New York City, vaccines will be required to get inside a restaurant, bar, gym, or performance venue.
There’s no league vaccine mandate in the NBA and according to a Washinton Post article reprinted in SFGate, players who choose to stay unvaccinated could face contract violations for failing to provide agreed-upon services. That means players could get fines, salary reductions, and even suspensions. So far, the Warriors aren’t saying if any of its players are unvaccinated, but the memo makes clear that those players must soon be identified to NBA officials. The NBA also stated in the memo that all referees, team staff, and arena personnel that are close to players will have to be fully vaccinated by the start of the 2022/2023 season.
The Warriors have a preseason game on October 15th which will be the first time the new San Francisco restrictions will be enforced at a Chase Center NBA game. The first regular-season game at Chase Center is four days later against the Clippers. The league says if other cities with NBA teams start enacting similar COVID-19 restrictions, the same rules would apply there. According to CNBC, the requirement does not apply to visiting players.
So unvaccinated players on other teams can play at Chase Center, which... doesn’t make a whole lot of sense?
Related: San Francisco Unsurprisingly Rejects Warriors' Proposal to Allow Thousands of Fans Back Into Chase Center [SFist]
Image: Chase Center