Wiggins has received the COVID-19 vaccination, coach Steve Kerr told reporters Sunday at the team’s training camp, putting him in compliance with San Francisco’s mandates for large events in the city. Wiggins would not have been eligible to play in Warriors home games in the city had he not been vaccinated. The NBA previously denied Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from any city mandates.
In August, San Francisco approved requirements for everyone over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and large indoor events, including basketball games. The proof of vaccination requirement for staff and employees at venues, which includes players, goes into effect Oct. 13.
Wiggins, 26, had become one of the faces of vaccine resistance in the NBA. During Warriors media day last week, he reiterated his stance against the vaccine and said he would stick to his beliefs. Wiggins said his back was “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.”
His teammates offered support, but Stephen Curry also said the prospect of Wiggins missing home games was “not ideal.”
“At the end of the day, it is up to him, there’s no secret to that point,” Curry said. “We hope he’s available. We hope it moves in the right direction. My opinion is, obviously I got it and I’m ready to be available and following the mandates.”
Wiggins stood to lose more than $350,000 for every home game missed, amounting to half of his $31.6 million salary for the 2021-22 season.
Last week, the NBA released health and safety protocols for the season that include numerous restrictions for unvaccinated players, including regular COVID testing and quarantines for contact tracing. Unvaccinated players’ ability to participate in team activities outside their residences and hotels will be limited.
According to the Associated Press, the NBA’s vaccination rate has risen in recent weeks, with the leaguewide figure now around 95% when counting those who are now at least in the vaccination process.
The Warriors open the preseason Monday in Portland against the Trail Blazers, with the first home preseason game Oct. 6 against the Denver Nuggets. The Warriors begin the regular season Oct. 19 on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers. Their home opener is Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_. Contributing: Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins gets COVID-19 vaccination
Source: Yahoo Sports