The Los Angeles Lakers announced that all team players will be vaccinated when the NBA season starts on Oct. 19.
The NBA previously announced that it wouldn’t mandate players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but certain teams will have to follow stricter health and safety protocols than others based on the health and safety requirements of their state and county. According to ESPN, unvaccinated players could be isolated from their vaccinated teammates in team functions, meals, travel and locker rooms.
“On opening night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster, on that night, will be deemed fully vaccinated. We’re really grateful for that. I think in collaboration with UCLA and the doctors and people internally, we will be grateful that we won’t have interruptions caused by the vaccinated status of a player or a staff member,” Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a press conference.
Unvaccinated NBA players in several markets also will not be allowed to enter home arenas or facilities for games and team activities unless there is an approved medical or religious exemption. The teams hit with this protocol are The New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors which are based out of the New York and San Francisco markets.
This week, the NBA denied Golden State Warrior Andrew Wiggins’ request for a vaccination exemption based on religious reasons, which makes him ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement. The New York Knicks announced that their entire roster was vaccinated as well, but the Nets have a few holdouts on the vaccination that includes star point guard Kyrie Irving.