Breakers point guard Tai Webster has been given an immediate release from the franchise after refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Webster, the breakout star from last season, inked a new two-year contract with the Breakers in July but since then it has become increasingly likely the team will again start the season in Australia due to the Delta outbreak.
The Victorian State Government unveiled its roadmap out of Covid lockdown on Sunday, where activities and freedoms will only be available to fully vaccinated people.
Premier Daniel Andrews has ruled out interstate travel occurring at 70 per cent vaccination, which modelling suggests they will reach on October 26.
It is not until vaccination levels reach 80 per cent that interstate travel will be considered and it still will be subject to other state’s rules.
The new NBL season is scheduled to start on November 18.
Breakers owner Matt Walsh says he respects Tai Webster’s decision to remain unvaccinated.
“Tai was amazing for us last year and we wish him the absolute best. I fully support each player’s freedom of choice in regards to the vaccine”.
“The club will keep the door open for Tai, but unfortunately we are living in extraordinary times and without being vaccinated he will not have freedom of travel which would allow him to play for us this season.”
Webster leaves the franchise just a month after his brother Corey parted ways with the Breakers by mutual consent. The 26-year-old played 35 games for the Breakers over the 2012-13 and 2020-21 seasons.