What Toronto’s Vaccination Rules Mean for the Yankees and Nets

What Toronto’s Vaccination Rules Mean for the Yankees and Nets
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Kyrie Irving is rooting for 76ers. Big time.

As of January 15, 2022, athletes who have not been fully vaccinated have been barred from entering Canada. And although his own Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors would each have to win two series before the teams meet in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, the infamously unvaccinated Irving wants no part of having his status becoming Topic A of the playoffs. So come on, Joel Embiid, Kyrie needs you to play big.

What does Aaron Judge need? If rumors and Judge’s cryptic vaccine answers are to be believed, No. 99 is one Yankee, and there are believed to be others, who needs Canada to drop its vaccination mandate. Otherwise, unvaxxed Yanks, and probably the Red Sox’s ace, Chris Sale, likely will be left home, making MLB bettors adjust and players watching their team’s games from the Rogers Center on television. And if some Yankee fans are a tad perturbed that Judge turned down the team’s $230 million contract offer, just wait until he’s stopped at Customs.

The Red Sox are scheduled for four games in Toronto April 25-28 and the Yankees are there for three games May 2-4. Canada’s policy is that visitors must be fully vaccinated to enter the country and that means that at least two weeks must have passed since receiving the one-shot regimen or the second shot of the two-shot regimen.

Every Yankee, therefore, better get their required jabs by April 18, or they won’t be playing down Blue Jay Way. Not that a trip to Toronto is easy as is. BetRivers Sportsbook New York lists the Blue Jays at +875 to win to win the World Series, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (+475).

The Mets reportedly also have players who are unvaccinated, but they are fortunate to not have any games scheduled in Toronto, so New York sports betting lines won't be affected. Also, this is not one of those deals where an unvaccinated athlete can just lie and pay a fine. The fine is large and there’s the likelihood of jail time.

The Yankees return to Toronto for three more games June 17-19. The Red Sox are back June 27-29. The Yankees swing in for three more Sept. 26-28 and the Red Sox play in Toronto’s final three home games, Sept 30-Oct. 2.

Sixers Starter Won’t Be Going to Toronto

That’s a lot of key games missed for any unvaccinated players. But 76ers starting guard Matisse Thybulle has chosen to miss his team’s road games in the NBA playoff series with the Toronto Raptors, due to his being “raised in a holistic household,” so maybe players will forfeit a lot of money for a little needle. The Sixers remain a -184 favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook New York, with the Raptors a +154 underdog.

It doesn’t seem as if this will be an issue for NHL betting as Commissioner Gary Bettman has said only a few hockey players have not gotten their shots.

Despite protests from truckers and others, the Canadian restrictions – first closing the border and then demanding vaccinations for entry – seem to have helped: Canada’s COVID-19 death toll per capita is about one-third the U.S. numbers.

Stay close to EmpireStakes.com for updates on this situation and for the best New York sports betting promos.

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Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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