© Jayne Kamin-Oncea | 2021 May 19
Andrew Wiggins is expected to be a key member of the Warriors next season. Now there is concern if he’ll even be allowed to play.
Wiggins has declined to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report by Rusty Simmons in the San Francisco Chronicle. Under the current local rules, Wiggins would not be allowed to play games at Chase Center, as the city of San Francisco is requiring full vaccination to be allowed indoors for entertainment.
The NBA is not requiring the vaccine for its players, but does require them to get a religious exemption or medical exemption if a local jurisdiction does require it. Wiggins could be granted a religious exemption from the league, which sources have told Simmons the NBA is expected to grant in Wiggins’ case. However, the city has the power to overrule that decision.
“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,” the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in a statement. “We will provide further clarification on this topic.”
San Francisco requires all staff at an indoor facility require proof of vaccination to enter, a stipulation that applies to players as well. It does not apply to visiting players, who can play but must remain at least 6 feet away from members of the public for the entire duration of the event, must provide a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the event, and must wear a mask when not performing or playing, according to the according to SFDPH.
Nine of the Warriors first 12 games are at Chase Center, so there is a good chance that Golden State would be without Wiggins, Klay Thompson and James Wiseman for most of those assuming Wiggins does not get vaccinated.
About 85% of NBA players are vaccinated, a league spokesman told ESPN.