Andrew Wiggins can’t play Warriors home games if he’s not vaccinated, says SF

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Warriors starting little forward Andrew Wiggins won’t be able to play home games if he’s not vaccinated, whether the NBA grants him a religious or medical exemption, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

The department said in a statement to The Chronicle on Friday: “At large and mega indoor events, all clients 12 years of age and older should be vaccinated at this time. Under the current ordinance, if they are not vaccinated, they cannot enter interior areas for any reason they are not vaccinated and cannot test for this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption. This same rule applies to performers and players employed by the organizer and indoor mega-events that are covered by the vaccination requirements of the health ordinance.

Wiggins is expected to be fully vaccinated 14 days before the team’s home opener against the Clippers on October 21 to play, and The Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the franchise was increasingly concerned that the No. 1 overall pick of 2014 never slackens. his stance against vaccination.

While the NBA does not require its players to be vaccinated, local jurisdictions can override the league. San Francisco requires that full immunizations be allowed indoors for large events, such as NBA games at the 18,000-seat Chase Center. New York City is the only other NBA market currently facing such restrictions.

Asked on Wednesday, the SFDPH said it was “actively addressing the issue of requests for religious immunization exemptions” and that it “would provide further clarification on the subject.”

On Friday, the department’s clarified position was first reported by SFGate. (The San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of each other.)

The Warriors have a media day Monday, open training camp Tuesday, and play nine of their first 12 regular-season games at home. Wiggins would lose over $ 350,000 for every game he’s forced to miss.

Wiggins said in March he had no plans to get the shot, but he has not publicly explained his reasoning.

The NBA told The Athletic this week that 90% of players have achieved full vaccination status.

League sources said The Chronicle Wiggins was not moved by his decision, even after the team recently put him in touch with an Oakland doctor who understands the issues with reluctance to vaccination. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said.

Wiggins’ 18.6 points per game last season placed second over the Warriors, behind only Stephen Curry (32.0). The team’s top perimeter defender, Wiggins also averaged 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

The Warriors have been careful not to speak publicly about specific players as this could violate privacy laws and spark resentment in the locker room.

“As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will comply with all regulations and protocols put in place by the San Francisco Department of Public Health,” the Warriors said.

Rusty Simmons is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: rsimmons@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron



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