Ten Unvaccinated Kansas City Royals Players Not Permitted to Play in Toronto Due to Canada’s COVID-19 Restrictions

by Bryan Fyalkowski
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Every time the Toronto Blue Jays are set to host a home series, it is always interesting to see which players on opposing teams are put on the “restricted list.” That designates that they cannot play in Canada due to the country’s restrictions on individuals who are unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The Kansas City Royals will head north today to begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays before the MLB All-Star break. The news wire exploded yesterday when it was revealed that the Royals were going to place 10 players – out of 26 on their active roster – on the “restricted list.”

Alec Lewis of The Athletic was the primary reporter on the situation as it unfolded. He wrote an article detailing the situation and fallout.

“Our medical team, coaching staff and front-office personnel have done an incredible job for the last year and a half,” team president Dayton Moore said. “We have done our best to educate everybody in our organization and provide them with the necessary guidance, giving them the proper amount of space and grace along the way to make very informed decisions.”

He continued: “[But] at the end of the day, it’s their choice. It’s what they decide to do. We’ve always been an organization that promotes and encourages individual choices. Unfortunately, some of this affects the team. We’re disappointed in some of that. But we realize it’s part of the game and part of the world we live in.”

Kansas City Royals Players Will Lose Almost $1 Million in Salary

All 10 of those Kansas City Royals will forfeit their salaries and service time for the four games. Most notably, Andrew Benintendi will not get $186,813 and Whit Merrifield is out on $153,846. In total, the 10 players will lose $726,128 in salary.

These were their explanations as to why they chose not to get vaccinated:

On the flip side, the 16 players who are vaccinated and can make the trip to Toronto are not happy.

“A few of us are [ticked],” one player wrote in a text message to Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star.

McDowell says that a handful of vaccinated players have voiced complaints about the situation. They talked to members of the coaching staff in the weeks leading up to the series against the Blue Jays.

According to the C.D.C., 83.2% of the United States population over the age of five has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Unvaccinated adults are 3.2 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than people who were fully vaccinated with a booster dose and are 41 times more likely to die from it.

“It’s a personal choice,” McDowell wrote. “But it’s a personal choice with an unfortunate effect on those they value dearly – their teammates.”

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