Starting in January, Unvaccinated Players Will be Unable to Play in Toronto | SLAM

Starting early next year, NBA players who are currently unvaccinated will not play road games against the Toronto Raptors.

According to Shams Charania of The Atheltic, starting Jan. 15 of next year, Canada will begin requiring all individuals entering the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This will impact any team playing the Toronto Raptors with unvaccinated players, as those players will be unable to go on the trip up north.

The impact of this could be even more drastic come the spring. The Raptors are on the fringes of a play-in spot with a record of 11-13 and are just 1.5 games back of the 10 seed and 2.5 back of the six seed, the lowest seed that skips the play-in.

If the Raptors make the playoffs, any unvaccinated players will not play all games in Toronto over a seven-game series.

Thankfully, the NBA has an incredibly high vaccination rate across the League. According to League insider Adrian Wojnarowski, 97 percent of NBA players are reportedly vaccinated. More than 60 percent of players have received a booster shot per Woj. 

According to Charania, any player who cannot play in Canada due to their vaccination status may be penalized with a “fine, suspension, or other action” from the NBA.

The Raptors play Thursday at home against the Thunder (7-16).

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