Warriors’ Wiggins Gets COVID-19 Vaccine After NBA Threatens to Bar Star From Games

Warriors’ Wiggins Gets COVID-19 Vaccine After NBA Threatens to Bar Star From Games
Golden States Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins accepted the COVID-19 vaccine after his request for religious exemption was denied last month and he would have been barred from playing home games if he didn’t get vaccinated.

Without a vaccine passport, Wiggins faced the possibility of not being able to enter the Golden State’s home building at Chase Center for games starting on Oct. 13 when the San Francisco Department of Public Health begins requiring proof of vaccination for large indoor events.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed Wiggins vaccination status on Oct. 3 while speaking to reporters during his media availability. The 26-year-old Canadian basketball star is now eligible to play in all games.

“Andrew got vaccinated,” Kerr said, ESPN reported. “He just told me today that he was fine with us acknowledging it and that will be the end of it. I’m not going to answer any questions beyond that.”

Wiggins said in September that he was seeking a religious exemption given the city of San Francisco had recently announced a vaccine requirement for large indoor events.

In a Sept. 24 statement, the NBA said it had reviewed and denied Wiggins’ request for a vaccination exemption, explaining he “will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”

Anyone 12 or older is required to show proof of vaccination to attend indoor events at Chase Center, and that message is on the Warriors’ website for fans.

On Monday at media day, Wiggins told reporters who asked him to detail his stance regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations that he will continue to “keep fighting” for what he believes is right.

“Back is definitely against the wall, but I’m just going to keep fighting for what I believe. I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe is right. What’s right to one person isn’t right to the other and vice versa,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins declined to explain what those beliefs actually entail, saying, “It’s none of your business, that’s what it comes down to.”

He stood to lose more than $350,000 per game, and if he didn’t play in any home games would have surrendered half of his $31.6 million salary.

The 26-year-old, entering his eighth NBA season, averaged 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 blocks last season.

The Warriors’ first regular-season home game is scheduled for Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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