NBA

Canadian NBA player Andrew Wiggins receives COVID-19 vaccine after initially refusing

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has received his COVID-19 vaccine and will be eligible to play in all games.

Thornhill, Ont., native now eligible to play in all games for Warriors

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins faced the possibility of not being allowed into Golden State's home building at Chase Center for games starting Oct. 13 when the San Francisco Department of Public Health begins requiring proof of vaccination for large indoor events. (Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press)

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has received his COVID-19 vaccine and will be eligible to play in all games.

The Warriors said coach Steve Kerr made the announcement to reporters Sunday after practice before the team traveled to Portland to play its first pre-season game.

Wiggins faced the possibility of not being allowed into Golden State's home building at Chase Center for games starting Oct. 13 when the San Francisco Department of Public Health begins requiring proof of vaccination for large indoor events.

On Monday at media day, Wiggins had said he would stick to his beliefs regarding the vaccine but noted: "Back is definitely against the wall, but I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe. I'm going to keep fighting for what I believe is right. What's right to one person isn't right to the other and vice versa."

The NBA had said it "reviewed and denied" Wiggins's request for a religious exemption and that he would not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfilled the vaccine mandate. Anyone 12 or older is required to show proof of vaccination to attend indoor events at Chase Center, and that message is on the Warriors' website for fans.

Wiggins declined to explain what those beliefs actually entail, saying, "It's none of your business, that's what it comes down to."

He stood to lose more than $350,000 US per game, and if he didn't play in any home games would have surrendered half of his $31.6-million US salary.

"It's my problem, not yours," he said Monday.

The 26-year-old Wiggins, entering his eighth NBA season, averaged 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 blocks last season.

The Warriors' first regular-season home game is scheduled for Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of.

(CBC)

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