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Bradley Beal, who missed Olympics in COVID-19 protocols, is declining vaccine

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Bradley Beal told reporters on Monday that he has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Washington Wizards guard who missed the Olympics because of his placement in COVID-19 protocols, cited "personal reasons" while parroting anti-vaccine misinformation at the team's media day.

Beal was slated to start for Team USA during its gold-meal run in Tokyo before COVID-19 protocols sidelined him toward the end of the team's training camp in July. He confirmed on Monday that he contracted COVID-19.

Beal's admission arrives as NBA training camps start this week ahead of the league's October tipoff. The Wizards play their first game against the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 20. Outgoing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill in July that 10% of the league's players remained unvaccinated. 

Nov 26, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Beal is not vaccinated against COVID-19. (Isaiah J. Downing/Reuters)

Vaccine refusal impacting multiple NBA rosters

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has also declined to take a vaccine and applied for a religious exemption with the NBA to opt out. The NBA denied his request last week, putting his status for Warriors home games in jeopardy. No major religion has discouraged its adherents from taking a COVID-19 vaccine.

While the NBA has not mandated that players be vaccinated, local regulations in San Francisco and New York City require that Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks players be vaccinated to gain access to their home arenas. If Wiggins doesn't get vaccinated, he won't be allowed to play in Warriors home games. 

Kyrie Irving attended Monday's Nets media day virtually because of New York's COVID-19 health and safety regulations amid reports that he hasn't been vaccinated. He repeatedly declined to address his vaccination status. If he's not vaccinated, he — like Wiggins — won't be permitted to play in home games.

Beal doesn't face such a restriction in Washington, but does take on the added risk of missing time and spreading COVID-19 that comes with declining an FDA-approved vaccine that's proven highly efficacious and slows the transmission of a virus that's killed more than 689,000 Americans.