Golden State Warriors pro basketball player Andrew Wiggins had been a vaccine holdout. While the NBA does not require its players to be vaccinated, the arenas they play in do. If a player doesn’t play, he doesn’t get paid. Wiggins said he has been forced to choose between earning a living and getting the vaccine.
During a press conference, Wiggins said he felt forced to be vaccinated and hoped the vaccine wouldn’t negatively affect his health down the road.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” said Wiggins, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run, and in 10 years, I’m still healthy.”
San Francisco is home to the Chase Center, the Warriors’ home arena. Under the city’s health order, unvaccinated people are banned from entering certain large indoor spaces, including the Chase Center.
“It feels good to play, but getting vaccinated, that’s going to be something that stays in my mind for a long time,” Wiggins said. “It’s not something I wanted to do, but I was forced to.”
Wiggins, 26, asked for a religious exemption to avoid getting vaccinated but was denied by the NBA.
If he did not play, he risked forfeiting at least half his $31.5-million salary for the 2021-2022 season. That works out to $328,000 per game missed.
Some Twitter users sympathized with Wiggins.
But others on Twitter were not so understanding.
Wiggins said he got the Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot, adding that he is the only vaccinated member of his family.
“I guess to do certain stuff to work, I guess you don’t own your body,” he 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.”
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