Vaccinated Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green says COVID-19 shot mandates go ‘against everything America stands for,’ and was promptly seconded by rival LeBron James.
‘Couldn’t have said it any better @Money23Green!’ the vaccinated Lakers star tweeted on Friday in response to the statement.
NBA players are not required to get the vaccine, although 95 percent of them have, the league confirmed to DailyMail.com.
Unvaccinated players face more rigorous testing and distancing protocols. More consequently, they stand to lose payment for any games they miss due to local mandates in New York and San Francisco, where the Warriors play.
‘You say we live in the land of the free,’ Green said. ‘Well, you’re not giving anyone freedom because you’re making people do something, essentially — without necessarily making them, you’re making them do something.’
Green began discussing the topic Friday after being asked about teammate Andrew Wiggins, who refuses to say if he’s vaccinated – a potential sign he’s not among the 5 percent of NBA players who aren’t.
Vaccinated Warriors star Draymond Green is refusing to push teammate Andrew Wiggins to get the COVID-19 shot and says any mandate ‘goes against everything America stands for’
Green’s statement was immediately seconded by vaccinated Lakers star LeBron James
Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins declined to answer questions about whether he’s vaccinated at Warriors media day earlier this week, which may mean he’s among the 5 percent of league players that are still unvaccinated
Explaining that Wiggins was making a personal decision about his health, Green said that it’s not his role to push anyone into getting vaccinated.
‘When you talking about vaccinated and non-vaccinated, I think it’s become very political,’ Green said. ‘When you make something so political and not everyone is into politics, then you can also turn those people off.
‘I think there is something to be said for some people’s concern for something that’s being pressed so hard. Like, ”Why are you pressing this so hard? So much, just pressing and pressing and pressing.”
‘You have to honor people’s feelings and their own personal beliefs, and I think that’s been lost when it comes to vaccinated and non-vaccinated. And it kinda sucks that that’s been lost.’
James said he was initially skeptical about getting vaccinated, but he’s gotten the shot
James shared similar opinions at Lakers media day earlier this week.
‘I don’t talk about other people and what they should do,’ James said.
‘We’re talking about individual bodies. We’re not talking about something political or racism or police brutality,’ James went on. ‘I don’t think I personally should get involved in what other people do for their bodies and livelihoods.
‘I know what I did for me and my family. … But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and things they want to do, that’s not my job.’
The Lakers say they expect to be 100 percent vaccinated when the season opens later this month.
The NBA has enjoyed a 5 percent bump in its vaccination rate, up from 90 percent, as training camps have started across the league.
Based on a rough count of nearly 600 players in the league right now for training camps – that figure will be closer to 500 when the regular season begins October 19 and rosters get trimmed – the 95 percent figure would suggest that, on average, one player per team is unvaccinated.
ESPN first reported the 95 percent figure. Earlier in the week, AP reported that the league-wide rate entering the week was 90 percent and climbing.
The Lakers say they expect to be 100 percent vaccinated when the season opens this month
The NBA gave teams tentative health and safety protocols for the season Tuesday, detailing how players who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccination will be tested far more often than their vaccinated colleagues and face a slew of other restrictions.
Among the rules for unvaccinated players: They will not be able to eat in the same room with vaccinated teammates or staff, must have lockers as far away from vaccinated players as possible, and must stay masked and at least 6 feet away from all other attendees in any team meeting.
Further, unvaccinated players will be ‘required to remain at their residence when in their home market,’ teams were told in the draft of the rules, a copy of which was obtained by AP. They will also need to stay on team hotel properties when on the road. In both cases, there are limited permissible exceptions – such as going to buy groceries, taking children to school and the like.
Nearly half of the league’s teams have said in recent days that they are already fully vaccinated or on the cusp of hitting that threshold. Other players, such as Wiggins and Washington’s Bradley Beal, have said they remain unvaccinated.
Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker has not revealed whether or not he is vaccinated
Phoenix’s Devin Booker – who has missed the start of camp after testing positive for COVID-19 – has not disclosed his vaccination status. Neither has Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, though not appearing in person at Nets media day in New York on Monday would suggest that he is unvaccinated.
Local laws in San Francisco and New York mean that players for the Warriors, Nets and New York Knicks will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to play home games. And if players like Wiggins or Irving are unable to play at home because of their vaccination status, they will not be paid for those games, the NBA said earlier this week. Irving, for instance, would stand to lose around $17 million.
Nets owner Joe Tsai, who is vaccinated, commented on Irving’s status to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
‘Kyrie talks about it as a sort of personal choice issue, which I respect,’ Tsai said. ‘But we all need to not forget that our goal, what is our goal this year. What’s our purpose this year? It’s very very clear — win a championship. And a championship team needs to have everybody pulling the same direction. So I hope to see Kyrie play fully and win a championship together with everybody else with all his teammates.’
The first preseason game of the season is Sunday when the Nets visit James’s Lakers.
Local laws in San Francisco and New York mean that players for the Warriors, Nets and New York Knicks will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to play home games. And if players like Wiggins or Irving are unable to play at home because of their vaccination status, they will not be paid for those games, the NBA said earlier this week. Irving (pictured), for instance, would stand to lose around $17 million