We’re less than two months away from another Golden State Warriors season, and here’s something that feels hard to believe: it’s already the third NBA season that will be played, at least in part, during the coronavirus pandemic.
It will also be the most normal, but it won’t be entirely normal, and that’s especially true for Golden State.
Due to restrictions in San Francisco, the Warriors players will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to play games at Chase Center, unless they receive medical or religious exemptions. They will also need to be vaccinated in order to partake in team activities at the organization’s training facility.
This is good. It’s a good thing. It’s a safe thing.
But here’s the funny part of it: according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, visiting players are exempt from that requirement, and thus can play at Chase Center with or without their vaccination.
This follows local governmental policies, meaning unvaccinated players on the Nets, Knicks and Warriors are not allowed to play in home games. Visiting players are exempt from the vaccination requirements in NYC and SF. https://t.co/fPePW722Og— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 1, 2021
Let’s be clear: I am not crying foul on the Warriors behalf. I am not going to throw a pity party for the Warriors players who need to contribute to basic public safety if they want to continue to have the privilege to play basketball for large sums of both spectators and money.
But the fact that opposing players can come into Chase Center, where the Warriors players, staff, and fans will all need to be vaccinated, and play with arms un-poked? Seems a bit odd to me.
As for the mandatory vaccinations, hopefully it’s not a hold up for the Dubs. We know that the bulk of the team got vaccinated during the 2020-21 season, though only a few names were made public. What we do know is that two players publicly said that they were holding out on getting the vaccine: Andrew Wiggins and Kent Bazemore.
Bazemore has since moved on and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Wiggins’ current vaccination status is not known.
In conclusion: get vaccinated, y’all.