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Unvaccinated NBA Players Will Not Be Able To Enter Canada For Games Beginning January 15
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 5: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards drives against Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on December 5, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
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According to NBA insider Shams Charania, unvaccinated NBA players will no longer be able to travel to Canada to play games in Toronto due to rules put in place by the Canadian government. 

“Sources: Beginning Jan. 15, any NBA player who is not fully vaccinated will be unable to enter Canada to play games in Toronto,” Charania said on Twitter. “Canadian government will require all individuals entering Canada to be fully vaccinated.” 


Charania also reports that any player unable to travel for his team’s game in Toronto will be subject to a reduction in pay and may be assessed a fine or suspension. 

In November, Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced the end of vaccine exemptions for professional athletes starting January 15. 

“As of January 15th, there will no longer be an exemption in place for professional and amateur athletes,” said Mendicino, a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberal Party.

While the NBA does not have a vaccine mandate for players, the vaccine is highly recommended, and there are particular cities in which the vaccine is required. 

Two NBA cities require proof of vaccination for home team players in order to participate in games — New York and San Francisco. 

New York requires professional athletes to show proof of one dose of the vaccine in order to play indoors and San Francisco requires full vaccination. Out-of-market players are exempt from the mandates. 

In September, the NBA announced that players that do not adhere to local vaccination requirements will not be paid for games missed. 

“Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in September.  

The vaccine mandate in New York has had a very large impact on one team and one player in particular. 

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets remains unvaccinated and has not played in a single game this season after the Nets organization announced that he will not be allowed to practice or play “until he is eligible to be a full participant.” 

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.

“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”

Also on Tuesday, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that any unvaccinated NBA player with a temporary VISA will not be allowed to re-enter the country if they decide to leave the U.S. 

“Any unvaccinated NBA player with temporary VISA status leaving the country will be unable to re-enter the United States, according to a memo obtained by ESPN,” Wojnarowski reported. “For example, a player would be unable to re-enter after playing in Canada, or traveling outside U.S. on All-Star weekend.”

Wojnarowski reported that nearly 97% of NBA players are fully vaccinated, and that more than 60% have received a booster shot.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

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