The National Basketball Association (NBA) is expanding its use of fines to punish players for not wearing masks. The association fined Brooklyn Nets’ point guard Kyrie Irving $50,000 after photos posted on social media showed him not wearing a mask at a family gathering.
The NBA issued the fine on Friday “for violating its health and safety protocols” and said he could return to the team on Saturday but would not be playing in Saturday night’s game against the Orlando Magic.
This is on top of forfeiting his salary for missed games that totaled almost $1 million.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on the development:
The league added that he would forfeit his salary for each game he misses during a five-day quarantine period that would end Saturday if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus. He’s already missed two, which means he has lost nearly $900,000 of his $33.5 million salary.
Irving has missed the last five games while away from the Nets for personal reasons. He was seen in a video on social media during his absence at an indoor family party while not wearing a mask.
The league’s protocols prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.
“Without a doubt, the organization’s disappointed with not having any one of our players, in this particular case Kyrie, not amongst us, not in the trenches with us and so forth,” General Manager Sean Marks said Thursday at a press conference.
“So I don’t want to speculate and say why he’s out and so forth. I’ve had conversations with him and I’ll continue to have conversations and we look forward to him being back in the gym, where he will address this,” Marks said.
It’s not the first fine for Irving. In December, the NBA fined him $25,000 for not speaking to the media during the preseason.
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