US Sen. Ted Cruz Shows Support for Unvaccinated NBA Players

The NBA does not have a vaccine mandate, but players have to abide by local health codes

SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), tweeted his support Thursday for several NBA players who reportedly are not vaccinated.

NBC 5 asked the Senator about the tweet, and part of a statement from him says, "I'm standing with the NBA players and anyone who believes we should respect medical privacy and individual freedom."

The tweet comes as NBA players returned to the court for practice this week. Dallas Maverick Trey Burke discussed his decision not to get the vaccine.

“I am just trying to look at all of the facts into, you know, what it could be and how it can affect me long term,” said Dallas Maverick Trey Burke.

Unvaccinated players will have more frequent testing and other restrictions. Dallas Maverick Coach Jason Kidd estimates vaccination rate with the Dallas players is in the 90th percentile, with a goal of 100%.

“We can only give the information, the right information, to our players and to our staff and then they have to make that decision,” said Kidd.

The league estimates 90% of the players are vaccinated, but there is no vaccine mandate. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement, “A vaccine mandate for NBA players would need an agreement with the Players Association. The NBA has made these proposals, but the players’ union has rejected any vaccination requirement.”

But without a mandate, players must abide by local health codes, and NBA spokesman Mike Bass also said, "Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses."

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