With the Toronto Raptors making it into the Eastern Conference playoffs, there were always going to be questions surrounding whether every player on the other teams would be able to feature in Canada. Even though the vaccine mandate has been lifted in places like New York, it's still enforced in Canada, meaning any unvaccinated players would not be allowed to travel to the country with their teams.
And with the Philadelphia 76ers set to face off against the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, they will be missing Matisse Thybulle, who will not be eligible to play in Games 3 and 4 thanks to not being fully vaccinated, something the Celtics were also reportedly worrying about if they had to face the Raptors. Thybulle could also miss a hypothetical Game 6, in case the series ends up extending that far.
If he is to get the vaccine now, Thybulle could ostensibly make himself available by a potential Game 6, but his explanation as to his status does not make it seem like he will be doing so. Thybulle has expressed his belief in naturopathic medicine and alternative remedies, saying that there isn't much he believes he can gain from the vaccine that he can't from alternative therapies.
“'This was a decision I made a long time ago…I was raised in a holistic household, anti vax is not a term that was ever used…we grew up with Chinese medicine and naturopathic doctors.' Says he has had to reconsider and look at situation differently."
"He got the first dose of the vaccine last year under the impression it would prevent him from getting/spreading the disease 100%. Says when that wasn’t the case, he felt comfortable treating himself and approaching it holistically."
"Thybulle: 'I didn’t see any benefits outweighing what I could seek from alternative medicine'."
With the Covid-19 pandemic not being as intense as it once was, this topic has essentially not come up all that much in recent times. However, the Raptors are the only team that other organizations have to think about in this regard, and it cannot be denied that the absence of Thybulle's defensive ability will give them quite the advantage in any home games they play in the first round.