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NBA reminds teams unvaccinated players can’t travel to Toronto after Jan. 15

Coronavirus - booster vaccination for police officers

29 November 2021, Lower Saxony, Hanover: A vaccinator holds a syringe in her hand in a vaccination booth in a hall on the premises of the Lower Saxony Central Police Directorate. Today, a concerted campaign to refresh the vaccination status for the employees of the Lower Saxony police begins in Hanover. Photo: Moritz Frankenberg/dpa (Photo by Moritz Frankenberg/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

Last month, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino announced his nation was eliminating an athlete exemption and after Jan. 15 unvaccinated players would no longer be able to travel into Canada for competitions. That includes NBA players going to Toronto.

The NBA has now sent a memo to teams both confirming that news and asking for the names of unvaccinated players, according to multiple reports. Here are the details via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As noted, it’s not clear how many players this impacts, but the vast majority of the NBA is vaccinated. Kyrie Irving is unvaccinated but is away from the Nets and not traveling with the team. Bradley Beal and the Wizards played in Toronto Sunday and do not travel north of the border again.

This is a decision by the Canadian government and the NBA has to follow the law on these matters. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed this before the season, talking about the vaccine mandates in New York and San Francisco (and now, Los Angeles), but the sentiment applies here.

“I think it’s perfectly appropriate that New York and other cities have passed laws that require people who both work and visit arenas to be vaccinated,” Silver said. “That seems to be a responsible public health decision made by those locales, and those are the circumstances in which the Nets find themselves operating. I accept that. I think that we understand as a league we have to play the cards that are dealt, just in the same way there are variations from market to market.”