It was confirmed on Monday that the federal government of Canada is granting a special exemption to unvaccinated NBA players when entering the country to face off against the Toronto Raptors. Raptors general manager Bobby Webster validated this during a pre-training camp interview.
It was also revealed that NBA players who are yet to have their COVID-19 vaccine jabs or those who prefer not to get them at all would be tested as soon as they arrive in the country. Moreover, they will be quartered in the team’s hotel and in the Scotiabank Arena to prevent any possible transmission.
Several NBA stars have already spoken out against getting vaccinated, like Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Golden State Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins, and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. However, when asked about his team’s vaccination status, Webster revealed that the Raptors are just “one dose away” from being completely vaccinated.
Unlike the NBA, the Canadian government has not extended any special exemption to the NHL regarding the vaccination of its players and staff.
NHL personalities going through a rough patch due to their being unvaccinated include Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, ex-Columbus Blue Jackets Zac Rinaldo, and former San Jose Sharks associate coach Rocky Thompson and ex-Blue Jackets assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre.
NHL deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Billy Daly divulged that almost all of the players and staff of the league are going to be wholly vaccinated before the season kicks off.