WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - "Bradley Beal (health and safety protocols) is out tonight vs. New York," read a post from the Washington Wizards’ Twitter account, the team playing at New York on Thursday.
FOX 5 viewers have been raising questions and concerns on both the Wizards and other entities in D.C. now that Mayor Muriel Bowser announced proof of vaccine would be required for "visitors" or "patrons" but not employees.
On Thursday, FOX 5 reached out to Capital One, the Washington Wizards, the Washington Capitals, the NBA, the NHL and the Mayor’s office to inquire about the latest proof of vaccine requirement and whether athletes had anything to do with why the mandate does not require the city’s various private employees to also show at least one shot by Jan. 15.
Monumental Sports responded, which operates the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics. Chief Administrative Officer and President Monica Dixon wrote in an emailed statement:
"Between the Mayor’s mandate and our own staff policy, everyone entering Capital One Arena will need to be vaccinated by January 15. We believe we will be able to implement the policy with no disruption in the fan experience or with our team on the floor."
Capital One did send notice it would be requiring all employees, vendors and contractors to be vaccinated back in August.
No questions were answered by the Washington Wizards, the NBA or the players union on what percentage of the team is now vaccinated – or whether star Wizards' player Bradley Beal has since gotten any shots.
The shooting guard faced heat in September for criticizing the efficacy of vaccines. He also said at the time, he had not received the COVID19 vaccine yet and later added to some of his comments.
The NBA does not mandate players be vaccinated.
Among several questions, FOX 5 asked the Mayor’s team whether only including "visitors" or "patrons" in the new proof of vaccination requirement next month had anything to do with the city’s athletes. We did not receive a response in time for Thursday’s reporting.
FOX 5 also took viewer questions on the indoor mask mandate to the Mayor’s team. Many who support the new vaccine requirement, are also questioning why the indoor mask mandate would need to remain for gyms if people actively eating and drinking in bars or restaurants are allowed to take down their masks.
"Absolutely mask mandates hurt our business in the fitness industry. There are a subset of individuals who just are not interested in working out while wearing a mask," said Solidcore CEO Bryan Myers, "Bars and restaurants and other places where to do the principal activity of the venue, like you know drinking or eating, you are required to remove the mask. I think it’s a very appropriate question to ask what is the difference in those venues?"
Myers said Solidcore began implementing a vaccine requirement before the Mayor’s order.
The District’s indoor mask mandate began on Tuesday and is slated to remain in effect until Jan. 31. Indoor proof of vaccine requirements begins 16 days before that on Jan. 15.
People entering into certain establishments will be asked to show proof of at least one COVID19 shot by the 15th – and show they are fully vaccinated by Feb. 15.