Report: NBA Continuing Anonymous Hotline to Report Safety Violations Amid COVID

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2020

The NBA logo at center court is shown during the second half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA is reportedly set to establish a hotline that can be used to report potential safety protocol violations anonymously during the 2020-21 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium noted a similar hotline was in place in the bubble during the stretch run of the 2019-20 season.

Charania also tweeted a rundown of the NBA's core health and safety principles for the 2020-21 campaign:

Per ESPN's Tim Bontemps, the NBA sent a health and safety protocol document to its teams that is over 100 pages in length and is similar to the one given to teams for the bubble.

The document includes information regarding how quickly players can return after testing positive for COVID-19. Players will be permitted to return 10 days after testing positive or first feeling symptoms, or they can return after two consecutive negative PCR tests taken 24 hours apart.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported the most common violation called in in the bubble was players not wearing masks or properly social distancing.

Charania added that some players received warnings for violations that were called in.

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Dwight Howard, who played for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers last season and has since signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, told reporters in July that "somebody told on me" for not wearing a mask inside the bubble.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel later addressed the media about Howard not wearing a mask and said Howard was "doing so now."

The season is set to start Dec. 22, and while teams will play at their home arenas, fans will not be permitted to attend most games initially.

With no bubble in place, the NBA will look more similar to the NFL and MLB, which have had teams travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both leagues have experienced many positive tests.

The NBA's hotline may be an effective way to ensure guidelines are being followed, possibly reducing the risk of outbreaks among teams.