Sixers Star Will Miss NBA Playoff Games Over Vaccine Mandate

Wikimedia Commons, photo taken by flickr user ReneS

Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle will not be able to play in the team’s upcoming away Playoff games against the Toronto Raptors due to Canada’s vaccine mandate.

Thybulle announced that he was not fully vaccinated during a press conference on Sunday, noting that he had received the first dose of the COVID-19 jab, but did not finish the course of treatment. 

“It got to the point last year during the playoffs where I did actually consider getting vaccinated and went through with getting the first shot,” he said. “At that point, I was under the impression that getting vaccinated means that I could not get the disease and transmit it to other people.”

The NBA player explained that he was raised in “a holistic household” and grew up using “Chinese medicine and naturopathic doctors.” Prior to getting the first jab, he felt like he had “a solid foundation of medical resources” that could “serve” him beyond the capabilities of the vaccine. 

He said he reconsidered his stance as “things escalated and as this situation has played out,” then decided to take the first dose of the vaccine. 

“I felt like if I’m going to be a part of society in the position I’m in, I need to do what’s right for the greater good,” he continued. “That argument of the greater good held a lot of weight for me.”

However, in between his treatments, the “science” revealed that people who are fully vaccinated can “can still spread the disease,” and Thybulle opted out of receiving the second dose. 

“I felt like I was secure in going to the doctors that I have to treat COVID if I did get it and in the case that I did, I was able to go about it in my holistic way and I’m able to sit here today healthy and be OK because of it,” he concluded. 

Thybulle might be okay, but the 76ers will likely struggle without him during games three and four, which will be played at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, and more so if the series extends to a full seven games.

The forward helped his team defeat the Raptors in Toronto in a close 114-109 win on Dec. 28, but Canada ended their vaccine exemption for athletes on Jan. 15. The Raptors face off with the 76ers in Philadelphia on April 16.

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