The NBA is being sued by three longtime refs who say they have been fired after selecting to not obtain the COVID-19 vaccine over non-secular objections.
In a complaint filed on Saturday, Kenny Mauer, Mark Ayotte, and Jason Phillips said the league improperly forced compliance with its “hygienic norms,” and wrongly concluded that their sincere religious objections fell short of its “high standard” against being vaccinated.
“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 claims, as Fox News reported.
The referees added that even with the NBA rescinding the requirement for a COVID vaccine for the 2022-23 season, they have not been reinstated. Back in July, the league released a memo stating they “will not have a vaccine mandate in place next season, but will strongly suggest all personnel be up to date with vaccinations.”
“I never thought that my faith in our Lord Jesus Christ would stop me or stop me or stop me from officiating NBA basketball games… It did,” he mentioned. Mauer mentioned in February. “Not just for me, but for others.”
Between all three refs, they have a mixed 71 years of officiating NBA games.
The lawsuit particularly accuses the NBA of violating federal civil rights legislation in addition to state and New York City human rights legal guidelines. It seeks front and back pay, punitive damages, and damages for reputational harm and for pain and suffering.