Ted Cruz says he ‘stands with’ unvaccinated NBA players

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he “stands with” a group of NBA players who are reportedly not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cruz, who is vaccinated, listed players by name, including Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins, Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving, Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac with the hashtag “#YourBodyYourChoice”.

Wiggins, Beal and Isaac are still not vaccinated, according to reports, and have given their reasons why.

It’s unclear whether Irving is vaccinated or not, but people have their beliefs after Irving was trending for liking and following social media posts from a conspiracy theorist linking the vaccine to secret societies and Satan.

“I’ve never said this before: I agree with @KingJames,” Cruz added.

LeBron James said he was vaccinated against COVID-19 months after being initially skeptical of it. But the Lakers’ superstar said other people’s business isn’t his concern.

“We are talking about people’s bodies and well beings. I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and livelihoods… You have to do what’s best for you and your family,” James said.

Cruz called James “courageous” and said James could take it a step further by publicly announcing he won’t play in any arenas that ban another player because they’re not vaccinated.

Unvaccinated players on the Warriors, Nets and Knicks are not allowed to play in their home games and won’t get paid for the games they miss, the league announced.

While speaking with KRON4 Sports’ Jason Dumas on Monday during Warriors Media Day ahead of the pre-season, Wiggins said he will continue to stand by his beliefs when it comes to not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

“My back is definitely against the wall, but I’m just gonna keep fighting for what I believe. Whether it’s one thing or another – get the vaccination or not get the vaccination – who knows, I’m just gonna keep fighting for what I believe and what I believe is right. What’s right to one person isn’t right to the other, you know, vice versa,” he said.

When asked what’s the reason for not explaining what he believed, Wiggins replied, “It’s none of your business – that’s what it comes down to.”

Last week, the NBA officially denied Wiggins’ request to get a religious exemption for the vaccine.

If Wiggins holds his ground and remains unvaccinated, not only will he not get paid in Golden State’s 41 home games at Chase Center, but he also jeopardizes his availability with the Dubs.

The league released tentative health and safety protocols to teams on Tuesday, detailing rules for unvaccinated players.

Among the rules for unvaccinated players: They will not be able to eat in the same room with vaccinated teammates or staff, must have lockers as far away from vaccinated players as possible, and must stay masked and at least 6 feet away from all other attendees in any team meeting.

Further, unvaccinated players will be “required to remain at their residence when in their home market,” teams were told in the draft of the rules, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. They will also need to stay on team hotel properties when on the road. In both cases, there are limited permissible exceptions — such as going to buy groceries, taking children to school and the like.

And unvaccinated players also will not be permitted to visit “higher-risk settings,” the NBA said, such as restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues and large indoor gatherings.

The league is working with the National Basketball Players Association to finalize the protocols, but some details were agreed upon weeks ago — including provisions where unvaccinated players will be tested on all practice, travel, team activity and game days. Fully vaccinated players will not be subject to testing, with very limited exceptions.

At least 95% of players in the league are vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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