THE PBA respects players who decide not to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Then again, they also have to face the consequences of their actions.
Commissioner Willie Marcial doesn’t see any conflict if ever there would be players who will refuse to be inoculated as preventive COVID-19 measure for the coming 46th season of the league.
But he made clear certain restrictions will be imposed on those who won’t be vaccinated especially once they turn out to be positive of the virus.
“Tayo hindi mandatory, hindi natin pinipilit. Yun nga lang maraming restrictions yun,” said Marcial in a press briefing on Thursday a day after he and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua held talks with key government officials at Malacanang regarding the possible start of the league’s new season.
“Kung hindi ka naka-vaccine, hindi ka makakalabas, hindi ka makakatanggap ng bisita,” he said of the health protocols non-vaccinated players should observe.
There’s also the issue surrounding the players’ salary and the longer quarantine period they have to comply with if and when they test positive.
“Baka pag nag positive ka pa, 14 days quarantine yun, so 14 days yun baka mawalan ka ng suweldo,” Marcial added.
“So madaming disadvantage ang walang vaccine.”
In the NBA, restrictions have been lessened in order to encourage players to be inoculated.
The first-ever play-for-pay league in Asia is also adopting the same measure, but won’t force players who don’t want to be vaccinated.
“Naiintindihan natin kung ayaw nila at hindi mandatory ng gobyerno, hindi natin sila pipilitin,” said Marcial.
“OK lang yung ayaw nilang magpa-vaccine. Karapatan nila yun.”
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