Draymond Green
Ash Carter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The NBA has proposed drastic penalties for players who refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Many players, such as LeBron James, are encouraging vaccination. But there are a growing number of star players who are refusing the vaccine. This has led to a great deal of scorn from the media and fellow players.  But there seems to be at least one player showing his fellow pros a bit of grace and understanding regarding the vaccination issue. Golden State Warriors Power Forward Draymond Green didn’t rebuke those hesitant of vaccination. 

NBA Star Draymond Green’s Call For Understanding 

The media asked Green about teammate Andrew Wiggin’s refusal to date to get the COVID vaccine. The media set the question up as a gotcha. Seemingly, the reporter expected Green to bash his fellow teammate for his personal decision.

But instead, the Michigan State alum stood up for the privacy of his teammate and against the notion that someone’s medical decisions were anybody else’s business:

“Because you’re making people do something, essentially. Without necessarily ‘making them,’ you’re making them do something. That goes against everything that America stands for. Or, supposedly stands for.”

Green also railed against how political getting the shot has become. Watch Draymond Green’s full answer below:

How Will The NBA Punish the Unvaccinated? 

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (the union that represents NBA players) announced both punishments and incentives for players who have yet to receive the vaccine

Unvaccinated players will have to:

  • Eat in separate rooms from vaccinated players and staff 
  • Have lockers far away from vaccinated teammates
  • Must stay masked and socially distanced from everyone during a team meeting

Unvaccinated players will also have to self-quarantine when at home and not be allowed to visit “high-risk” areas such as bars, restaurants, or clubs. The league will also subject the unvaccinated to rapid tests on practice and game days. 

If this all sounds strenuous and prohibitive, that is the point. It seems to me that the NBA is doing its best to force everyone into vaccine compliance.

But with the league already at a 90% vaccination, I wonder how effective these measures will be?

Shut Up And Dribble?

Is the NBA looking out for the vaccinated and vulnerable? Or are they instead punishing those who refuse compliance?

Frankly, I can see both sides to the argument.

I am fully vaccinated because it was the best decision for my family and me, but I don’t have the right to tell anyone how to live their life or treat their body.

On the other hand, while we have freedom in this country, this doesn’t mean it is free from consequences.

The NBA made it clear to players that vaccination is strongly encouraged. The NBA is a private organization and is free to do as it wishes for those in voluntary contracts with their franchises. 

What do you think? Should the NBA demand that players be vaccinated? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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