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Report: NBA players hesitant to request COVID-19 tests out of fear that positive result could remove them from crucial playoff games

Sports leagues across the United States previously held incredibly stringent protocols revolving the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of mass vaccine use as well as a perception that the virus has become less dangerous over time, those protocols have all but disappeared.

The NBA no longer requires testing for fully vaccinated players, and that has reportedly led some players to become hesitant to request a test for fear that if they test positive, they could be forced to miss crucial playoff games.

“The league no longer requires mandatory testing of fully vaccinated players,” Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported. “[Al] Horford has said he is vaccinated.


“[Ime] Udoka said Horford is feeling fine, but if a player can request to be tested if they’re feeling ill or have another reason to know.


“Players have been hesitant to seek out a test out of fear that a positive test result could remove them from crucial playoff games.”

Losing Horford for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals clearly had a huge impact on the Boston Celtics. Though they led early in Game 1 versus the Miami Heat, they ran out of steam in the second half and were dominated in the third quarter.

To add to the issue, Haynes added that sources say that Horford will likely not be cleared for Game 2.

Obviously, COVID-19 has impacted many lives in countless ways over the last couple years. It has been fascinating to see how sports leagues have navigated changing rules, laws and science around the disease.

Obviously, the hope is that Horford will get healthy as soon as possible and back on the court. However, given the fact that he could end up missing multiple games of the conference finals, it stands to reason that the reported hesitancy among players to ask for a test will only grow.


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