NBA memo puts pressure on teams to enforce COVID-19 compliance


The NBA is placing a significant burden on team officials to monitor and mete out discipline in cases of COVID-19 protocol violations among players and staff, the league told teams on Thursday in a memo obtained by ESPN.

The memo comes on a day that four Chicago Bulls players — Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison — were ruled out against the Washington Wizards because of league health and safety protocols.

The NBA, which designated compliance enforcement officers and facemask officers within each team with responsibilities to oversee and report violations to top team leadership, told teams that they’re required to notify the league office of discipline imposed.

Under guidelines of the collective bargaining agreement, the league office still holds the power to override team decisions on player punishments, the memo said.

The league office continues to oversee primary responsibility to monitor and investigate in-game violations — such as the failure of coaches or inactive players to wear masks — and what it deems exceptional circumstances, such as “egregious” or “meaningful” organizational failures that result in the spread of COVID-19, game delays, postponements or repeated flagrant violations, the memo said.

The NBA reminded teams that it can become aware of potential violations through a number of avenues, including reporting by team or league personnel, media and social media reports, review of game broadcasts and calls to the league-established health and safety hotline.

The NBA told teams that they must follow normal disciplinary processes in handing out punishments, including “determining the facts, providing the person alleged to have violated the protocols with an opportunity to be heard, and using principles of fairness, proportionality and progressivity in determining discipline.”

Source : ESPN