Wizards release statement on vaccine mandate


Following Mayor Muriel Bowser's announcement of a citywide vaccine mandate set to begin on Jan. 15, both Wizards and Capitals games at Capital One Arena are set to be affected. While it was clear on Wednesday that fans would be subject to the new rules, no details were shared regarding players.

A statement from Monumental Sports and Entertainment provided to NBC Sports Washington on Thursday provides some additional clarity. An MSE spokesperson says "everyone entering Capital One Arena" will have to follow the guidelines.

Here is the full statement:

"Between the Mayor's mandate and our own staff policy, everyone entering Capital One Arena will need to be vaccinated by January 15. We believe we will be able to implement the policy with no disruption in the fan experience or with our team on the floor."

There had been some confusion over the last 24 hours about how the new requirements would affect Wizards players. The team was reviewing the mandate and what it would mean for them. NBC Sports Washington reached out to Mayor Bowser's office multiple times and was not able to get an answer.

MSE's statement says they do not foresee any "disruption" with the "team on the floor." That indicates they expect to be in compliance with the mandate. The rules require those entering most indoor facilities to have one dose of the vaccine by Jan. 15 and two doses by Feb. 15.

It is not known at this point how many players on the Wizards are vaccinated. About half the team shared their vaccination status on media day in September with star guard Bradley Beal notably among those who had not received the shot.