Unvaccinated MLB Players Won’t Be Allowed to Play in Canada

Major League Baseball players who were not vaccinated against the coronavirus will not be allowed into Canada to play against the Toronto Blue Jays due to state restrictions, and they will not be paid while the team is overseas as part of the sport’s new workforce of approval.

Canada’s current border restrictions do not allow unvaccinated foreign visitors to enter the country without special exceptions. And the special status issued by the Canadian government to unvaccinated athletes, which allowed them to cross last year, ends in January.

As part of a recent collective bargaining agreement that would have allowed the 2022 season to start, the MLB and the players’ union agreed that players unable to enter Canada due to their vaccination status would temporarily be placed on the league’s restricted roster, where wages and service time are not provided. , according to the league. (Time of service is what determines a player’s eligibility for salary and free agency arbitration.)

“This is a cause for concern,” Tony Clark, head of the union, said Friday. “As everyone knows, we respect and respect the decisions made, especially with regard to the health of players and the health of the community.”

Due to the new policy, some players may have to miss an important game against the Blue Jays, who open the season on April 8 at home at the Rogers Centre.

At the end of last season, a handful of MLB’s 30 teams had yet to reach the full 85 percent vaccination threshold, which would allow the league’s pandemic restrictions to be relaxed. The Boston Red Sox, who experienced a significant virus outbreak last season, were the only one of 10 teams in last year’s postseason to have not reached that vaccination mark.

Aaron Boone, manager of the Yankees, a division rival and frequent opponent of the Blue Jays, told reporters on Sunday that he was worried his players could not play in Canada. “We still have some people at least not vaccinated,” he told reporters in Tampa, Florida, where the team is hosting spring training.

Despite initial resistance from many players last year, vaccination numbers have continued to rise in MLB. At the end of last season, around 84 percent of all designated players and staff members had been fully vaccinated. Some team executives are openly frustrated by the reluctance of their players to be vaccinated.

Vaccination rates are notably higher in other professional leagues, such as the NBA and NHL, both of which have teams based in Canada.

Jackson Wintringham

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