When news broke that any unvaccinated Warriors players won’t be allowed inside Chase Center for home games, there was hardly any concern.
Except for forward Andrew Wiggins. While most if not all other Warriors are vaccinated against Covid-19, Wiggins told reporters last season he wasn’t vaccinated and didn’t plan to be. Now, he’s reportedly still unvaccinated, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. If his status remains the same when the season starts, he’ll miss games and forfeit his game check in the process.
The NBA is not requiring its players to be vaccinated, but if a local jurisdiction requires vaccination to enter an arena, then an unvaccinated player must get a religious or medical exemption from the league to play on his home court.
Even that might not be enough.
San Francisco requires full vaccination to be allowed indoors for entertainment, including large events like NBA games at 18,000-seat Chase Center. New York City is the only other NBA market currently facing such restrictions.Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle
The Warriors can hardly afford to lose Wiggins. Time will tell if he changes his mind. But Simmons also reported that the Warriors connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor that deals with vaccine hesitancy, and Wiggins “remains unmoved” in his stance.
That does not sound good at all for Golden State. Wiggins could request a religious exemption, but he’s yet to go public with his reasoning against vaccination. It’s anybody’s guess how this plays out, but it would certainly be unprecedented if Wiggins missed games for such a reason.