WNBA star denied medical exemption during pandemic

Two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne, 30, says her chronic Lyme disease puts her at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
2:37 | 07/16/20

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Transcript for WNBA star denied medical exemption during pandemic
Now the surprising decision this morning involving one of the wnba's top players. Two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne who says she takes 64 pills a day for chronic Lyme disease is now being denied a medical exemption from playing during the pandemic. Janai Norman has much more on this for us. Good morning, janai. Reporter: Robin, good morning. 64 pills a day. That's 25 before breakfast, 20 more after breakfast and 19 more pills later on the day. Elena Delle Donne's situation highlights how much players are risking their health and their lives for their livelihood. This morning, one of the wnba's top players is speaking out against the league's decision to have her play even after she expressed health concerns. For nine years now I have been dealing with Lyme disease and other co-infections that have destroyed my immune system. When covid has come around and I saw that if you're immunocompromised you have to be careful. Reporter: Elena Delle Donne saying her chronic Lyme disease puts her at higher risk for covid-19. I went through the process with the league of submitting all my information, my doctor who has been treating me for nine years submitted a letter basically saying this isn't safe for her, so when I got the call that I was denied I just was completely shocked. Reporter: But the wnba denying the 30-year-old's request for medical exemption from playing this season. Her head coach addressing the situation. Elena shared the letter with us but we weren't able to make an announcement regarding the decision unless the player makes a public statement first. The mystics organization will never put Elena's or any other of our other players' health and well-being in jeopardy. I take 64 pills a day but I love the game of basketball. I found a protocol that sometimes works for me and enables me to play. Reporter: Delle Donne speaking out in a blog and on "Sportscenter" is forced to decide whether to risk her health to play with the Washington mystics or give up her paycheck. It's never easy when you lose an entire salary including endorsements if you're not playing but I'm in a position where we can figure it out. Reporter: And the situation also showcasing the huge disparity between the NBA where many players have massive salaries and the wnba where that is not the case. But the mystics have announced that Elena is on the roster but she will be paid even if she does not play, robin. They made that clear, all right. Thank you, janai, for bringing this to us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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