Whether its players are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, the NBA kicks off the 2021-22 regular season, next month. However, a new report surrounding the league’s anti-vaxxers could be a legitimate concern for the Boston Celtics.
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A proposed new mandate from the league office called for all players to get vaccinated against COVID-19. And according to Rolling Stone’s Matt Sullivan, there’s a recent wave of players still not in favor of it, days before training camp.
Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving Leading NBA Anti-Vaxxed Movement?
Mounting claims of Irving’s recent activity on Instagram, along with no confirmation from him or anyone from his camp, that Kyrie’s indeed vaccinated against the coronavirus, is only adding gas to the fueled speculation.
“Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently starting following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan,” Rolling Stone’s Matt Sullivan wrote. “This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.”
Rolling Stone: Multiple Celtics Players Unvaccinated
Now, Celtics center Enes Kanter, who is of Muslim faith, is urging everyone to get vaccinated and doesn’t see religion as a reason to not follow the NBA’s newest proposed health and safety protocol.
According to Kanter, per Rolling Stone, some of his teammates are not vaccinated.
“Kanter’s current franchise, the Boston Celtics had multiple players unvaccinated as of Thursday, he and a teammate say,” RS’ Matt Sullivan wrote. “The NBA claims that 90 percent of its more than 450 players — star veterans and players trying to make rosters alike — have received at least one shot, a rate lower than the conservative NFL. League officials provide weekly data and studies to teams with un-vaxxed players, many of whom they hope will be inoculated before the regular season begins on October 19.”
While Kanter, as many other players across the league, is urging others to help save lives by getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Tyki Irving, Irving’s aunt, says her nephew is far from being the only player opposed to the vaccine.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki, per RS. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
For now, NBA teams must submit a list of players and staff who aren’t vaccinated to a league testing officer. According to RS, the Nets are expected to address New York’s athlete vaccination before October’s preseason schedule begins.