Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been pulled from the NBA All-Star Game this Sunday due to the league’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
According to CNN, the NBA released a statement hours before tipoff that explained their decision.
“Prior to traveling to Atlanta, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had contact with an individual who is confirmed today to have tested positive for the coronavirus,” the statement read.
The league said other members of the 76ers staff, who are in Atlanta for tonight’s game, won’t be forced to miss it because they weren’t exposed to the person who tested positive.
Embiid made a commitment to donate his All-Star Game earnings to help fight homelessness in Philadelphia. Now it’s unclear if today’s decision will affect his pledge.
The league hasn’t named any replacements for the two All-Stars. Embiid was set to play on Kevin Durant’s team, and Simmons was supposed to play for LeBron James‘ team.