The NBA will exempt its players from getting the COVID-19 vaccine while mandating that referees and most staff get vaccinated, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The NBA and NBPA continue to negotiate other COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season, but the vaccine mandate is a non-starter with the union, per the report. However, the league is putting forth strict protocols for players who are not vaccinated.

Those protocols, not agreed upon yet, could include eating and traveling apart from vaccinated teammates as well as being located in a different part of the locker room, per the report.

Roughly 85 percent of players are vaccinated, the league said.

The league informed teams last month that personnel who work within 15 feet of players or officials during games are required to get vaccinated by Oct. 1, per the report.

--Field Level Media

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