NBA legend demands COVID-19 vaccination for all players ahead of new season

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has called on teams to take a firm stance and axe unvaccinated players from their roster. 

The six-time NBA champion was responding to a damning report in Rolling Stone that detailed the anti-vax stance held by a proportion of players across the league.

The NBA does not require its players to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to play.

But referees and other staff who have close contact with players are required to be fully vaccinated to continue in their roles.  

The issue around player vaccination is becoming increasingly fraught across the NBA with New York City and San Francisco changing the landscape in August.

Both cities announced that they require that NBA players on home teams be vaccinated or they will be refused entry into arenas, directly affecting the Knicks, Nets and Golden State Warriors. 

Entry to the Warriors’ Chase Center requires double vaccination whereas Knicks and Nets players are required to have at least one dose to be made eligible. 

This is particularly problematic for Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins, who has elected not to be vaccinated. 

His request for religious exemption was denied by the league and a failure to alter his stance on vaccination would see Wiggins ineligible for the Warriors’ 41 home games. 

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