With only a month before the NBA season, Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins remains unvaccinated against COVID-19. On August 20, San Francisco announced that people must have proof of vaccination for significant indoor events. Events such as Warriors’ home games. Without the vaccine, Wiggins may not be eligible to play in the Warriors’ home games this season.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins spoke out against the vaccine in March, and his stance remains unchanged. In March, Wiggins cast significant doubt on whether he would get the vaccine.
“Yeah, I don’t really see myself getting it anytime soon, unless I’m forced to somehow. Other than that, I’m good.”Andrew Wiggins
While there may be no mechanism forcing Wiggins to get the vaccine, Wiggins may not be eligible to play in arenas that require the vaccine. One possible way around being unvaccinated would be if Andrew Wiggins got a religious exemption from the NBA.
However, the San Francisco city government would have the power to override an NBA-granted religious exemption. The San Francisco Department of Public Health maintained that it is an issue they are examining in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“We are actively addressing the matter of requests for religious exemption from vaccinations across many industries and will work with our business and entertainment community on next steps. We will provide further clarification on this topic.”The San Francisco Department of Health
Andrew Wiggins is not the only one unvaccinated
Currently, 65% of the total United States population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. According to ESPN, about 85% of players have taken the vaccine against COVID-19. NBA Referees and most NBA staff are mandated to be vaccinated by the NBA. However, the NBPA has refused to agree to vaccine mandates for players more widely.
Going into the third season wherein COVID-19 has been a part of the fabric of life, it will be interesting to see how the NBA deals with those who choose to remain unvaccinated. With more information becoming available on the effectiveness of vaccines, players may change their minds on staying unvaccinated. We’ll keep tracking this issue as the season progresses.