On Saturday, three former NBA referees filed a complaint against the league, alleging that their dismissal was caused by their refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccines due to their religious beliefs. According to Reuters, the complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York’s U.S. District Court by Kenny Mauer, Mark Ayotte, and Jason Phillips. The former referees contend that the NBA illegally required them to abide by the vaccination policy and incorrectly determined that their objections on the basis of their religious beliefs did not meet its “high threshold” against receiving the immunization.
They allege the NBA refused to reinstate them after lowering the condition for this season, which ultimately resulted in their bans for the 2021–22 season. In August 2021, the NBA said that it has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association. At the time, the league said that any referees who had a valid medical or religious objection to vaccination might request an exemption. An unvaccinated referee would not be permitted to work games if there was no exception.