Andrew Wiggins' status for the upcoming NBA season was thrown into question Friday when the league denied his request for a religious exemption from San Francisco's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Wiggins will not be able to play in Golden State Warriors home games at the Chase Center "until he fulfills the city's vaccination requirements," the NBA said in a statement announcing the denial. San Francisco last month began requiring everyone over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and large indoor events, including basketball games. The proof of vaccination requirement for staff and employees at venues, which includes players, goes into effect Oct. 13.
Wiggins has refused to receive the COVID vaccine. Earlier this year, he said he wouldn't unless "forced."
"I don't really see myself getting it any time soon, unless I'm forced to somehow," Wiggins said in March. "Other than that, I'm good."
DRAW THE LINE:Some teams have had enough of players refusing vaccine
The NBA players union has not required its members to be vaccinated, but the league has strongly encouraged players to do so. Perhaps to entice reluctant players, the league's health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 season allow far more freedoms for vaccinated players than the unvaccinated.
Unvaccinated players will be allowed to play, but they must be tested daily for practices and travel and at least once on game days. Fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.
Golden State will hold its Media Day on Monday and open training camp on Tuesday. The first preseason game is Oct. 4 in Portland against the Trail Blazers, with the first home preseason game Oct. 6 against the Denver Nuggets. The Warriors begin the regular season Oct. 19 on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers. Their home opener is Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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