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NBA Changes Rule To Reflect Canada’s Vaccination Requirements

Canada will no longer allow unvaccinated athletes to have an exception starting January 15th.

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The NBA has released a memo that outlines a rule change for unvaccinated players in light of the Canadian government’s rule doing away with athletic exceptions to vaccination status, which was announced in November, reports Shams Charania of the Athletic. In Canada, visiting athletes will be required to be fully vaccinated as of January 15th, 2022.

NBA players who are unvaccinated are subject to fines, suspension or reduced pay for missing games in Toronto under the Canadian government’s upcoming vaccination requirement for travelers. The league sent a memo, which was obtained by The Athletic, to teams on Tuesday informing them of the discipline.

The new rule from the NBA requires that players be fully vaccinated in order to play against the Toronto Raptors, matching Canada’s new requirement. Three percent of the league remains unvaccinated, and the league has shown little interest in making vaccination mandatory, thus putting the onus on local governments to make the decision.