The Oklahoma City Thunder announced yesterday (September 21) that it will be requiring fans to show proof of either partial or full vaccination or a negative COVID test administered within 72 hours prior to attend games, starting October 4. 

The policy will be in effect for at least the first 12 home games of the preseason and regular season. Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett explained the team’s decision in a statement: 

While there are no perfect answers, our health experts tell us the vaccine has proven to be effective in slowing the spread of this virus, including the Delta variant. We feel the best option to help keep our community safe is to make sure those who attend our games have a reduced chance of contracting or spreading the virus. We are in frequent consultation with our partners at OU Health, the NBA and other health experts and organizations to monitor the situation and we plan to evaluate the status of this policy for December and beyond.

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While it’s not a requirement, fans are strongly encouraged to wear masks at games. The NBA is expected to announce special guidelines for fans who sit courtside. 

As is usually the case, the announcement was met with mixed reactions. Many felt the team was doing the responsible thing. 

Several fans lashed out at the organization.

Based on the reactions, it'll be interesting to see just how many people turn out for Thunder games this season. My guess is that the there will be plenty of fans on hand when the team kicks off the regular season against the Utah Jazz on October 20.

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