Publish date:

NBA Denies Andrew Wiggins Religious Exemption From COVID-19 Vaccine

The NBA denied Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins's request to get a religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health's order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events," the league said in a statement.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health ruled Friday that those who are unvaccinated cannot enter the Chase Center, even if they have a religious or medical exemption. 

"At large and mega indoor events, all patrons 12 and older must be vaccinated at this time," the health department's statement read. "Under the current order, if unvaccinated, they cannot enter indoor areas regardless of the reason they are unvaccinated and cannot test out of this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption. This same rule applies to performers and players employed by the host at large and mega indoor events who are covered by the vaccination requirements of the Health Order."

Wiggins, 26, will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city's vaccination requirements. Golden State's first home game is Oct. 19.

SI Recommends

Wiggins recently stood firm on his initial decision from March 22 to refrain from getting the vaccine, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"To each his own, really. Whoever wants to get it, can get it; whoever doesn't want to get it, don't get it," Wiggins said in March. "Right now, I'm not getting it, but it's no knock on anyone else that's getting it. I make my own decisions. But right now, I decided not to get it."

As a result of Wiggins's reluctance to get the vaccine the team connected him with an Oakland doctor who understands issues of vaccine hesitancy, per the Chronicle.

Across the league, at least two teams—the Knicks and the Pistons—are fully vaccinated. 

Wiggins is entering his second full season with the Warriors, after landing with the franchise in a mid-season trade during the 2019-20 campaign. Last year, he started 71 games, averaging 18.6 points and 4.9 rebounds on 47.7% shooting from the field. 

More NBA Coverage: 

 SI Top 100: And the Best Player Is ...
What’s Next For Ben Simmons, Sixers?
How the NBA Plans to Expand in Latin America
 Best Bets for 2021-22 Season: Bucks Undervalued to Repeat As Champions