The Toronto Raptors are two weeks away from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
General manager Bobby Webster had previously indicated that the team was one dose away from being considered fully vaccinated. According to Sportsnet's Michael Grange, that final dose has been administered meaning that person will be fully vaccinated once the 14-day grace period is complete.
Ontario has mandated that -- starting Sept. 22 -- any employees and guests at non-essential businesses, including live sports, must show proof of vaccination to enter the building. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment -- which owns the Raptors among other local teams -- has publically supported this mandate.
“As an organization, MLSE fully supports the mandatory vaccination policy being implemented by the province as we all work together to create a path forward that protects our communities and allows a return to full operations for all businesses,” said Michael Friisdahl, President and CEO of MLSE, in a statement in early September. “Providing the safest environment within our venues and protecting our community from the transmission of COVID-19 are our highest priorities and ensuring all attendees and staff at our events are fully vaccinated is the ultimate safeguard in that goal."
At least 95 per cent of the player pool in the NBA is reportedly vaccinated but some high-profile names -- including Kyrie Irving, Jonathan Isaac and Andrew Wiggins -- made headlines when training camp opened and they had yet to receive a vaccine. While Wiggins has since begun the vaccination process, the topic will continue to be a major one as the start of the regular season nears and teams will have to balance being competitive while following local health restrictions.
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said in an interview with Rolling Stone's Matt Sullivan recently. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research."