SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins, whose request to be able to play home games without getting a COVID vaccination shot has been rejected by the NBA and San Francisco health officials, says he will continue his fight to stay true to his beliefs.
Wiggins took part in the team’s annual media Monday on the eve of the opening of training camp. After brushing aside several questions about his vaccination status and his ability to play at San Francisco’s Chase Center, Wiggins finally had enough.READ MORE: California Drought: Gov. Newsom Declares Expanded Drought Emergency, Calls For Statewide Conservation
“(My) back is definitely against the wall,” he said. “But (I’m) just going to keep fighting for what I believe, whether it’s one thing or another, get the vaccination or not get the vaccination, who knows, like I’m just going to keep fighting for what I believe and what I believe is right. What’s right to one person isn’t right to the other, you know, vice versa.”
When he was further pressed, Wiggins said it’s a matter of an individual’s choice.
“It’s none of your business,” he told reporters. “That’s what it comes down to, you know. I don’t ask you about your beliefs. I don’t ask you about what you guys think is right or wrong. We’re different people. It would be like parenting. You don’t — some people shed their beliefs onto their children; some people let their children grow up and believe what they want to believe.”
“Who are you guys? Why I have explain what I believe, or you know, what’s right or what’s wrong in my mind? We are two totally different people. What you think is not what I think; what I think is not what you think.”
He says he feels supported by the team and his teammates.
“It’s all love,” he said of their reaction. “It’s all love and support. No negative energy.”
Wiggins said he was “taking it day by day. I’m dealing with today, you know what I’m saying. Tomorrow will handle itself.”
“I will say my side of everything when I’m ready,” he added. “I don’t work on y’all’s time. I work on my time.”READ MORE: Significant Storms Coming To Drought-Parched Northern California; Fire Season May Be Ending
During the news conference, both head coach Steve Kerr and General Manager Bob Myers were short with their answers when asked about Wiggins status.
“I haven’t spent any time thinking about, nor will I,” Kerr said when asked who he plans to alter his roster if Wiggins can’t play home games at San Francisco’s Chase Center. “We’ll just see how everything works out. We’re hopeful that it is all resolved in the next couple weeks but we’re going to camp tomorrow with a plan to have everyone on the court and ready to roll.”
Myers echoed those sentiments.
“My belief and my thoughts are that we will have a full team,” he told reporters. “I’m not preparing for anything else.”
On Friday, both the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the NBA rejected Wiggins request to be allowed to play at home while being unvaccinated.
“At large and mega indoor events, all patrons 12 and older must be vaccinated at this time,” local health officials said. “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. 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.”
Later Friday, the NBA released a statement backing San Francisco’s decision and denying Wiggins a religious exemption.
“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 statement read. “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Phish Fan Injured After Being Fallen On at SF Chase Center Concert Describes Brush with Death
Wiggins came to the Golden State Warriors from the Minnesota Timberwolves in February 2020. Last season he averaged 18.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. His current contract with the Warriors runs through 2023.