NBA franchise Miami Heat has told employees they must get vaccinated or else they will have been considered to have resigned.
The basketball team has drawn a line in the sand and said staff must be vaccinated, or at least be in the process of getting fully vaccinated, by September 1 or else risk their employment.
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Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press is reporting “exemptions will be made for those in the process of being vaccinated at that time (waiting for second dose) or those who have obtained exemptions for religious reasons”.
In a statement outlining their decision, the Heat said: “The stability and success of the live events industry hinges on prioritising safety — of our players, employees, partners, fans, vendors and the media.
“One of the ways we can substantially minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission is to ensure our entire staff is vaccinated.
“Employees who are not fully vaccinated, or have not submitted a formal request for an accommodation that has been granted or is still in the evaluation process by the next phase of our return to work will be deemed to have resigned.”
The Heat have been proactive in encouraging people to get the jab, hosting a vaccination event earlier this month at FTX Arena for anyone aged 12 and over.
NBA releases schedule
Games paying tribute to key moments in NBA history were among those announced on Saturday (AEST) as the league revealed its 2021-2022 season schedule, which will begin on October 19.
The Toronto Raptors will visit the New York Knicks on November 1 to mark the 75th anniversary of the league’s first regular-season contest, which was played between the Knicks and Toronto Huskies on November 1, 1946.
The teams who have been part of every NBA campaign — the Knicks, Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors who began in Philadelphia — will play one another across three games in a five-day December stretch.
The Warriors will visit New York on December 14 and Boston three nights later while the Knicks will visit the Celtics on December 18.
On January 7, 2022, the Atlanta Hawks will visit the Los Angeles Lakers in a game played 50 years to the day after the Lakers beat Atlanta for their 33rd consecutive victory, which remains the longest winning streak in NBA history.
Each NBA club will play 82 games in a season starting October 19 and ending April 10, 2022.