Andrew Wiggins' Request For COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Denied

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Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors
Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors will not be able to play in home games unless he changes his stance on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year sought a vaccination exemption from the league tied to a San Francisco Department of Public Health order that requires COVID-19 vaccination for anyone age 12 and older at large indoor events.

Wiggins was requesting exemption due to religious reasons as it could be granted if medical or religious reasons apply. But after a review of the 26-year-old’s case, the NBA thumbed down the request, ESPN reported.

"The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins' request for 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. "Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city's vaccination requirements."

San Francisco is one of several cities with stricter regulations on vaccination. Other teams affected include the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.

In the case of Wiggins, he still has time to address the issue. The San Francisco mandate does not take effect until the middle of next month.

Unless the top pick of the 2014 NBA Draft abides, there is a chance he may not be able to suit up in the Warriors' home games. Considering the Dubs need everyone on board for a good run this 2021-22 season, head coach Steve Kerr cannot afford to let Wiggins sit out their home games.

The Warriors have yet to address the issue, although everything hinges on what Wiggins decides to do next.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently suggested that the Warriors trade Wiggins if he sticks by his decision not to get jabbed.

"They should trade Andrew Wiggins today," Smith told Molly Qerim on "First Take" Thursday. "Period. Get rid of him. Send him someplace else. This is not a hard situation. This is not a hard decision for me. I understand he's averaging 18 points a game from last season. He's no scrub. He can play even though he's the quietest 18 points per game scorer I've ever seen."

One name that comes to mind is Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. The 25-year-old is determined to find a new home, but he still has four years and $147 million remaining on his current contract.

Wiggins was previously mentioned in a possible trade package for Simmons, Philadelphia Inquirer reported in July. However, that potential deal was lopsided and included James Wiseman and a plethora of future picks.

A lot has changed since then so it will be interesting to see if the Warriors change their stance.

Photo: Getty Images | Will Newton

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