NBA Referees Will Be Required to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 for 2021-22 SeasonAugust 28, 2021
NBA referees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the 2021-22 regular season.
Per a Saturday news release from the NBA, the league reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association to require all game officials to be vaccinated:
On Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the league will require all "team, arena and personnel whose role involves interactions with players and referees" to be vaccinated before next season begins in order to have in-person contact.
This marks the first agreement between a major sports league and union to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
Even though NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league won't compel players to get vaccinated, he said he was confident the majority of them would choose to do so.
Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports in July that the vaccination rate among players was 90 percent.
Per ESPN's Ben Dowsett, the NBA employs 65 referees.
Saturday's agreement came exactly one month before teams open training camps Sept. 28. The preseason begins Oct. 3.
The 2021-22 regular season will start Oct. 19 with a doubleheader featuring the Brooklyn Nets taking on the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors visiting the Los Angeles Lakers.