The New Zealand Breakers released point guard Tai Webster today because he turned down the offer of a covid jab. The Breakers play in Australia’s NBL (National Basketball League).
The team was badly affected by covid travel restrictions last season and have decided to relocate to Australia to make it easier to fulfill fixtures. Team owner Matt Walsh said that Webster’s refusal to be jabbed would complicate travel plans. In a press release issued today, Walsh said:
“I fully support each player’s freedom of choice in regards to the vaccine. The club will keep the door open for Tai. But unfortunately we are living in extraordinary times and without being vaccinated, he will not have freedom of travel which would allow him to play for us this season.”
In response Webster tweeted:
“If I’m betting on myself, I COMPLETELY double down. So how unemployed you gotta be exactly to go on the benefit? Asking for me.”
Presumably he means he would bet on his immune system. Why wouldn’t he? He had recently signed a new two year deal with the club.
NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said that the league will not force players to be jabbed, but stressed that there would be ramifications for players and officials who opt out.
“Individuals that decide not to get vaccinated could be subjected to different rules, depending on various government protocols and restrictions,” he said today.
It’s beginning to look a lot like tyranny.