The NBA has denied Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from San Francisco’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, meaning that he will be ineligible to play home games unless he gets the shot.
“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the NBA said in a statement Friday. “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warrior home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”
The San Francisco Department of Public Health said Friday that everyone at least 12-years-old, including Warriors players, must be vaccinated if they wish to even enter the Chase Center and does not allow for medical or religious exemptions. A negative COVID test also will not be accepted in place of proof of vaccination.
“At large and mega indoor events, all patrons 12 and older must be vaccinated at this time,” the department said in a statement to SFGate.
“Under the current order, if unvaccinated, they cannot enter indoor areas regardless of the reason they are unvaccinated and cannot test out of this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption,” it continued. “This same rule applies to performers and players employed by the host at large and mega indoor events who are covered by the vaccination requirements of the Health Order.”
The local vaccine requirement only applies to players competing for the home team.
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets face similar rules due to local vaccine requirements in New York City.
The NBA is requiring coaches, referees and others team employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the league is not requiring players to get inoculated, according to ESPN.
Unvaccinated players will be subject to daily testing on practice and travel days and at least once on game days. Fully vaccinated players will be exempt from daily testing.
Around 85 percent of NBA players were vaccinated at the end of last season but that number is believed to have increased since.