Los Angeles became the third city to pass a broad COVID-19 vaccination mandate that will affect its NBA and NHL teams, joining New York and San Francisco.
The ordinance, which was approved by the Los Angeles City Council and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday, will go into effect on November 29. From that day on, anyone who enters, among other facilities, indoor gyms, including the Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers of the NBA and the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, will need to be fully vaccinated, that is, 14 days after your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything in our power to continue increasing those numbers,” Garcetti said in a statement. “These new rules will encourage more people to get vaccinated and make businesses safer for workers and customers, so we can save more lives, better protect the vulnerable, and make our communities even safer as we fight it. pandemic”.
Both the Lakers and Clippers said last month that their teams are, or are in the process of being fully vaccinated. The NHL Kings also said they are fully vaccinated as a team.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in his preseason press session that the Lakers will be fully vaccinated by opening night later this month.
“On opening night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players who are currently on our roster, that night, will be considered fully vaccinated,” said Pelinka, who is also the team’s president of basketball operations, in a release. video conference call last Thursday. “We are very grateful for that.”
Lakers star Anthony Davis said later on media day that he believed the Lakers were already fully vaccinated.
And while Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank previously declined to speak about their team’s vaccination status, coach Tyronn Lue said during the team’s training camp in San Diego last week that his team was fully vaccinated.
“Our guys are vaccinated so we just have to do what the league tells us to do; we try to play by the rules and go from there,” Lue said last week. “And we talked about that last year, we just have to adapt and do what we have to do to play the game that we love. So certain players, certain people have different beliefs, so I respect those beliefs. And our guys are fully vaccinated, so I also respect their beliefs. “
San Francisco, like Los Angeles, has a requirement that people be fully vaccinated to enter buildings like the Chase Center, home of the Warriors. New York, on the other hand, requires proof of just one shot of a vaccine in order to enter, among other places, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, the homes of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, respectively.
However, as in those cities, there is an exemption in Los Angeles for “non-residents,” which means that the mandate will apply only to members of the Lakers and Clippers and not to players on opposing teams.
Over the weekend, Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins got vaccinated, allowing him to play at home in San Francisco when the regular season begins later this month.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said after the Warriors’ first preseason game at the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, his first public comments since receiving the vaccine. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully it will work out in the long run and in 10 years I will still be healthy.”
Nets star Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, remains out of New York activities because he hasn’t gotten a chance yet. The rest of the Nets, as well as all the Knicks and Warriors rosters, meet local mandates.
“I know that I will be there every day no matter what happens and that I will be there for my teammates as one of the team leaders and I will be there for my growing tribe off the court,” Irving said during a virtual media session. In the past week. during Brooklyn media day because he was unable to attend the Barclays Center in person due to the mandate.
“I know the focus has to be at its highest, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, it was more distractions and more fuss and more drama around this. I’m doing my best to keep this with good intentions. and good heart “.
ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Dave McMenamin, Ohm Youngmisuk and Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.