As the pressure mounts, Dubs’ Wiggins clings to the vaccine position originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – After nearly seven seasons in the NBA desert of Minnesota, he moved on to the Bay Area, where he was obscured by All-Stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
Perfect. Working in the shadows brought comfort to Andrew Wiggins.
Now, as he faces the tide of the relentless COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes are on him. He’s in the spotlight. It’s bright. it’s hot. It’s hard.
Will Andrew blink?
No. Not yet, if at all.
Even though his unvaccinated status could cost him millions in salary.
âI know,â Wiggins said Monday during media day. “And that’s my problem, not yours.”
Wiggins did not explain his rationale for avoiding COVID vaccines – ‘It’s none of your business’ – and was reluctant to bring up the subject during his first meeting with reporters since the end of the Golden State season. in May. He has always refused to discuss his status.
âEverything that has to do with my status, the vaccination, is a private matter,â he said. âSo I’m going to keep it personal and private. “
Many team and league sources acknowledged that the Wiggins had not taken any vaccines and even resisted persuasion efforts from teammates and staff.
If Wiggins isn’t fully vaccinated by October 13 – which can only happen if he takes the single shot from Johnson & Johnson by Wednesday – he won’t be allowed into the Chase Center. No games. No practice. On that date, according to the warrant issued by the city of San Francisco, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed entry.
âThe back is definitely against the wall,â Wiggins conceded. âBut I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe in, whether it’s one thing or another, to get the shot or not to get the shot. Who knows? like I’m just going to keep fighting for what I believe and what I believe is right. What’s right for one person isn’t right for the other, you know, vice versa.
What is clear is that Wiggins’ principles guide his resistance.
What is not yet clear is whether he will be willing to compromise these principles to remain a full-time employee of the Warriors and also considered the most valuable attribute of professional sport: the team player.
Wiggins’ decision is, at this point, about his priorities. About his love of the game, which has been called into question. Of his commitment to his teammates, which has come under scrutiny.
Neither team president Bob Myers nor coach Steve Kerr were ready to discuss details of Wiggins’ statusor even recognize that it is not vaccinated. Although several sources have told NBC Sports Bay Area that there have been efforts to do so.
âEveryone has something to say,â Wiggins said.
This is the only way Wiggins will have a chance to be with his teammates and coaches for all 82 games, 41 of which are scheduled at the Chase Center. For every game missed, he will lose over $ 350,000 in pre-tax salary.
Ultimately, however, Wiggins’ decision is to look at the raw data readily available on many websites, decide if he trusts the science, and see the devastation caused by a pandemic deep in its second. year.
It is as much a question of humanity as it is a question of basketball.
Wiggins said he spoke to former Timberwolves teammate Karl-Anthony Towns, who not only survived a fight with COVID but has lost seven family members to the disease. Still no movement.
Wiggins attempted to obtain an exemption based on religious beliefs, but the The NBA rejected this request. He has been in contact with the players’ association, which is against vaccination warrants but has no influence in San Francisco. The league relies on the city.
Everyone is watching Wiggins and he’s out of options. The Warriors are at the end of their patience. The only way to solve this problem in a way that satisfies the majority is to change your mind. If he decides to get vaccinated.
Monday afternoon there was no sign of this.