Basketball-Lakers’ James to face no action over COVID-19 protocol violation

FILE PHOTO: NBA: All Star Game-Team Lebron vs Team Durant
FILE PHOTO: Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Team LeBron forward LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (23) is introduced before the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

May 25, 2021

(Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James will not face punishment for violating National Basketball Association (NBA) health and safety protocols by attending a promotional event, with the league saying he posed no risk of spreading COVID-19.

U.S. media reported last week that James attended an outdoor photoshoot for his tequila brand with several celebrities before the Lakers’ 103-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.

James, who was photographed without a mask at the event, also played in Sunday’s 99-90 loss to the Pheonix Suns in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

“To clarify any remaining misconception, LeBron James briefly attended an outdoor event last week where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result,” the NBA said in a statement https://twitter.com/NBAPR/status/1396969293590536192.

“Under these circumstances and in consultation with medical experts, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine was necessary.

“Over the course of this season, there have been numerous similar violations of the league’s health and safety protocols, which were addressed with the player’s team in a similar fashion.”

Under NBA rules, vaccinated players can engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements.

James has not previously stated if he has been vaccinated despite being asked by reporters on multiple occasions, saying it was a personal matter.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)