NBA reportedly warns players they still can't play in Toronto without COVID-19 vaccination

·1-min read

NBA players won't be permitted to travel to Canada to play the Toronto Raptors next season without being vaccinated against COVID-19 or receiving an approved medical exemption.

Bleacher Report and ESPN reported on Monday that the league sent a memo to players reiterating the Canadian policy that was in place last year and has impacted MLB games this summer. Per the reports, players who miss time because of their vaccination status won't be paid for missed games. Teams are required to list those players as "Out: Health and Safety Protocols."

The NBA does not require players to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but local, regional and national laws can prohibit players from traveling or playing without being vaccinated. Canada requires international travelers entering the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving, left, dribbles past Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kyrie Irving and Matisse Thybulle would both miss road games against the Raptors unless their vaccination status has changed. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The requirement impacted multiple players last season including Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle, who missed three playoff games in Toronto because he's not fully vaccinated. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving also missed a March 1 regular season game at Toronto because of his vaccination status.

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In MLB, the Kansas City Royals traveled to face the Toronto Blue Jays in July without 10 unvaccinated players.

Every NBA team will be scheduled for at least one road game against the Raptors. The schedule for next season has not yet been announced.