The NBA has been sued by three former referees who claim they were fired after they refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19 on religious grounds.
Kenny Mauer, Mark Ayotte and Jason Phillips say the league suspended them for the 2021-22 season as all players and employees were required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The league then removed the mandatory requirement for vaccination ahead of the 2022-23 season by Mauer, Ayotte and Phillips say the league refused to reinstate them as referees.
The complaint says “Had the NBA not taken upon itself to force faith-based conscientious objectors to adhere to secular norms, none of plaintiffs' complained-of injuries would have manifested. In sum: Plaintiffs were persecuted.”
The lawsuit accuses the NBA of violating federal civil rights law and New York state and city human rights laws. It seeks front and back pay, punitive damages, and damages for reputational harm and for pain and suffering.
NBA champion Andrew Wiggins originally objected to being vaccinated on religious grounds but due to state laws he would have only been able to play in states where vaccination was mandatory. Despite becoming NBA champion and becoming and All Star he says that he still regrets getting vaccinated.