UPDATED 10/05, 10:52 a.m. ET: Andrew Wiggins explained his decision to get vaccinated. “I felt like the only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” he said Monday. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully in 10 years it works out and I’m still healthy.”
UPDATED 10/03, 4:01 p.m. ET: Andrew Wiggins has reportedly gotten his COVID-19 vaccine after previously telling reporters that he doesn’t see himself “getting it any time soon, unless I’m forced to,” Shams Charania reports.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr broke the news to reporters on Sunday. Wiggins is now expected to participate in Monday’s preseason opener at Portland.
UPDATED 9/24, 7:58 p.m. ET: Andrew Wiggins’ request for exemption from getting the COVID-19 vaccine due to his religion has been denied, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Friday.
Wiggins will not be able to play at the Chase Center if he does not receive the vaccine.
See original story below.
The Golden State Warriors are worried that Andrew Wiggins will miss home games next season because he doesn’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports sources as saying.
According to the publication, the Warriors have attempted to get a doctor to speak with Wiggins about the benefits and safety of the vaccine but the small forward has still refused to get it. Wiggins previously told reporters that he doesn’t see himself “getting it any time soon, unless I’m forced to.”
Although the NBA has said that the league will not require players to get vaccinated, they will still need to abide by guidelines that have been set by a team’s respective city in regards to curbing the devastation and hundreds of thousands of deaths the disease has caused.
San Francisco and New York City are the only two cities in which the NBA plays that have mandated that all people working at large indoor events be vaccinated. Outside of the Warriors, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks are the other two teams that have to follow the vaccine guidelines. Only those with approved religious or medical exemptions will be allowed to work in arenas without getting the jab.
It’s unclear if Wiggins has applied for an exemption but the Chronicle reports that some think the NBA will grant him a religious exemption, a designation that could potentially be overruled by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Players from other teams will be able to enter Chase Center if they’re unvaccinated as long as they remain 6 feet away from the public, wear a face mask whenever they’re not on the court, and provide a negative COVID test.
Earlier this month, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski reported a NBA spokesman as saying that around 85 percent of players have received the vaccine.
If Wiggins’ vaccine hesitancy continues he’s likely set to lose a good amount of money. NBA players are paid per game (barring things like injuries) and Wiggins, who averaged 18.6 points per game last season, makes around $360,000 before taxes per game.
Outside of potentially losing a considerable amount of money, Wiggins’ teammates and Warriors fans will probably not be too happy about his decision.