First, a shoutout to IanIsrad for mentioning it in the comments of our SB Nation NBA Reacts results!
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday that starting on Jan. 15, 2022, all people entering indoor entertainment venues, including Capital One Arena, must submit proof of at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna and/or Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines.
The measures were part of a broader effort of vaccine mandates Bowser implemented in D.C. Anyone entering a gym or restaurant must also show proof of vaccination.
With Bowser’s new orders, Washington is the latest city to enact measures that are most similar to what is already seen in New York City, San Francisco and Toronto where fans must be at least partially vaccinated to attend indoor events at venues like an NBA game or concert.
It also has significant implications for the Washington Wizards.
What does this mean for Bradley Beal and possibly Kyle Kuzma?
There is nothing mentioned about employees, including NBA players being required to be vaccinated in order to play home games given that they aren’t exactly Wizards employees and are unionized. That said, I’ll go with the most extreme scenario and backtrack from there.
Given how other cities have done these types of mandates, it wouldn’t surprise me that this order gives Beal (and possibly Kuzma if he’s not vaccinated) an ultimatum: Either get vaccinated, or lose your pay for home games.
Assuming this is the case, my hope is that this will finally convince Beal at least to get his vaccine.
Of course, there is always the possibility that there may be some legal loopholes to allow Beal and possibly Kuzma (again, depending on his status) to remain unvaccinated. If this is the case, then that’s not a good look for the D.C. government if there’s something explicitly allowing professional athletes an out. There are some loopholes already, like a situation where a DoorDash or Uber Eats Driver who isn’t vaccinated goes inside some trendy restaurant like Le Diplomate to wait for an order. The gig economy apps haven’t required vaccinations from their workers.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.