Matisse Thybulle to miss upcoming play-offs games due to Covid-19 vaccination status

The Philadelphia 76ers are set to meet the Toronto Raptors in the play-offs, but Aussie Matisse Thybulle is ineligible for some of the games.

Aussie Olympian Matisse Thybulle has been ruled out of upcoming NBA playoff games due to his Covid-19 vaccination status, but the Philadelphia 76ers wingman insists he has no regrets remaining partially vaccinated.

The Sixers will play up to seven games against the Toronto Raptors in their first play-offs series, with the first team to win four games advancing to the next round.

Canada’s vaccine mandate has meant Thybulle cannot play in the third, fourth or sixth games of the series, which will be hosted in Toronto.

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After the Sixers’ defeat of the Detroit Pistons on Monday (AEDT), Thybulle explained he had been raised in “a holistic household” that looked to “Chinese medicine and naturopathic doctors” for health advice.

He said he’d had one shot of the Pfizer vaccine last year, but chose not to have a second when he realised he was still a chance to spread the disease even if vaccinated.

“At that point, I was under the impression that getting vaccines would mean I could not get the disease and transmit it to other people,” said Thybulle.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, no vaccine is 100 per cent effective, but a study published by medical journal Eurosurveillance in October found individuals who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 were 63 per cent less likely to pass the Delta variant on than their unvaccinated peers.

Thybulle said he did not understand the benefits of becoming vaccinated.

“I just didn’t feel like it would benefit me. I didn’t see any benefits outweighing what I could seek from alternative medicine,” he said.

Thybulle said he had accepted that refusing to become fully vaccinated could have repercussions, including forfeiting match payments.

“One of the things my dad taught me growing up was that you’re free to do whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences,” he said.

“I considered deeply all the different avenues. Of course I’ve accepted this could hurt money, contracts, reputation.”

Thybulle said once it looked as if the Sixers were a chance to meet the Raptors in the play-offs, he considered becoming vaccinated, but did not want to roll his sleeves up without being certain he would have to travel to Canada.

“There were many points when I had to stop and reconsider, but at the time of having to make my decision, the odds that I was working with were not 100 per cent,” he said.

“It was just hard to commit to doing something that I felt like was not right for me, based off of a potential that could turn out that I wouldn’t have to have done it.”

Thybulle admitted it hurt not to be playing in every play-offs game, but insisted he had faith in his teammates to get the job done.

“It sucks; it was not the outcome that I wanted. It’s always hard not to be available, whether you’re injured or what not,” he said.

“It’s hard to watch your guys go out and fight without you, but I believe in them without me, just as much as I believe in them with me.

“I think that we’ve got as good a chance as any to make a run to the championship. I trust these guys to take care of it when I can’t be on the court with them.”

Originally published as Aussie NBA star Matisse Thybulle to miss upcoming play-offs games against Toronto Raptors

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