NBA-Jordan backs league’s COVID-19 vaccination stance

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FILE PHOTO: Sep 21, 2021; Haven, WI, USA; Former Chicago Bulls NBA basketball player Michael Jordan watches the action from the 11th hole during the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, in Haven, Wis. on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY Sports

October 12, 2021

(Reuters) – Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan said he is a “firm believer in science” and that he backed the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) stance on COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of the new season starting on Oct. 19.

The NBA has said unvaccinated players must comply with a long list of restrictions to play in games and take part in team activities such as practice.

U.S. media reported earlier this month that 95% of players have had at least one shot but some players, including Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving, have not said publicly if they have been vaccinated.

Jordan, who played 13 seasons with the Bulls winning six championships and currently owns the Charlotte Hornets, said he was not concerned by the league’s protocols.

“Not at all. I’m total in unison with the league,” Jordan said on NBC’s Today show.

“I’m a firm believer in science and I’m going to stick with that and hopefully everybody abides by whatever the league sets the rules.

“I think once everybody buys in, we’re going to be fine.”

The new season is going ahead despite concerns over the contagious delta variant of the novel coronavirus that has hit those who are unvaccinated particularly hard.

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