Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins explained on Monday why he recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, saying he did so out of feeling it was necessary to continue his NBA career.
"The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA," Wiggins said after the Warriors' preseason opener. "It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I'm still healthy."
On Sunday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Wiggins told him he had been vaccinated. Kerr did not elaborate on Wiggins's thought-process.
Wiggins's vaccination status had been a frequent topic of conversation during the preseason as San Francisco is one of two local jurisdictions in NBA markets that is requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be allowed indoors for entertainment.
Wiggins, 26, was asked to clarify his vaccination during Media Day but declined, saying, "it's none of your business." The NBA had also denied Wiggins's request to get a religious exemption for the vaccine.
Per league policy, Wiggins would not gotten paid for the games he would have missed had he not been vaccinated.
"I guess to do certain stuff, to work, I guess you don't own your body," Wiggins said. "That's what it comes down to. If you want to work in society today, then I guess they made the rules of what goes in your body and what you do.
"Hopefully, there's a lot of people out there that are stronger than me and keep fighting, stand for what they believe, and hopefully, it works out for them."
Last March, Wiggins said publicly he would not be getting the vaccine. He admitted Monday night that he is now the only member of his family who is vaccinated, saying it is "not really something we believe in as a family."
Wiggins said he previously contracted COVID-19 and that it "it wasn't too bad."
He received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccinate, which will allow him to be fully vaccinated prior to the Warriors' regular season home-opener on Oct. 21 against the Clippers.
Wiggins is entering his second full season with the Warriors, after coming to 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.
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