Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins COVID-19 vaccination is over: Wiggins has received the shot.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has resolved the issue of one of the high-profile holdouts as the preseason approached, revealing Wiggins received the vaccine.
Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins has been vaccinated and will be available for all games this season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 3, 2021
Wiggins Way Out
Kerr made the revelation to reporters on Sunday following team practice.
“Andrew got vaccinated,” Kerr said. “He just told me today that he was fine with us acknowledging it and that will be the end of it. I’m not going to answer any questions beyond that.”
Now that the Warriors forward received the vaccine, he is eligible to play in all games. His status was suspect, as San Francisco is one of two cities with a stringent indoor vaccine mandate. New York is the other city.
NBA vs. NBPA
The NBA has yet to reach any concrete agreement with the National Basketball Association Players Association on vaccine issues. However, the NBA did agree to allow exemptions for some players based on a religious exemption request.
Wiggins petitioned this clause to strengthen his case to remain unvaccinated, but the league denied his request. Wiggins’ religious affiliation is not known, and the NBA didn’t give a reason for the denial of his appeal.
Andrew Wiggins got vaccinated, per Steve Kerr. He will be available for home games this season.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 3, 2021
However, Wiggins saved a ton of his salary by complying with the indoor mandate. If Wiggins didn’t play at Golden State’s home building, the Chase Center, he would have forfeited $8.9 million in salary.
Coaches, staff, and people who will be around players are required to be vaccinated. However, unvaccinated NBA players will face rigorous COVID-19 protocols.
Due to local mandates, unvaccinated players stand to forfeit salaries for games missed in New York and San Francisco.
League Of Uncomfortable Conversations
The NBA has been at the forefront of social justice issues, especially in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Since the vaccine became a point of contention, NBA players have been at the center of controversy. Many players have publicly or privately resisted the vaccine; however, other sports haven’t been as vocal.
According to an NFL report released on Sept. 3, the NFL’s vaccination rate has remained steady after the 32 clubs made roster cuts.
Fun fact about the very end of this: Andrew Wiggins did not get a polio vaccine, because polio has been BEEN ERADICATED DUE TO THE EFFECTIVENESS & UBIQUITOUSNESS OF THE POLIO VACCINE!
This is so incredibly frustrating. https://t.co/2l8J062H9w
— nick wright (@getnickwright) October 1, 2021
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero also reported that the leaguewide player vaccination rate has held steady at 93 percent post-roster cuts; this before teams reduced rosters to 53 players and a 16-player practice squad.
Some high-profile clubs are 100 percent vaccinated, as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has noted his team is. Other teams have varying rates of vaccination status.
According to NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills, the NFL has reached a vaccination rate of nearly 93 percent among its players and above 99 percent among staff members.
“I feel we are in a much better place than we were last year at this time (because) we have a much more complete understanding of this virus and its transmission, and the testing and identification of it,” Sills said to the NFL.
The NBA, however, has been less open about its vaccination numbers. Without an agreement from the NBPA, the league will continue to have contention. With players like Kyrie Irving still holding out, the NBA is still leading sports in uncomfortable conversations.