Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors spoke on Monday, a day after head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Wiggins has received the COVID vaccine and is now eligible to play in Warriors home games.
Reporters asked Wiggins a series of questions on his decision, a decision that Wiggins said only had two possible outcomes.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said Monday. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I’m still healthy.”
Wiggins was recently denied a religious exemption by the NBA, and told reporters that he wasn’t upset with the Warriors organization, as the organization was not requiring him to receive the vaccine. The city of San Francisco requires professional athletes to be vaccinated in order to play indoors.
“They didn’t make the rule,” Wiggins said. “But I guess to do certain stuff, to work, I guess you don’t own your body. That’s what it comes down to. If you want to work in society today, then I guess they made the rules of what goes in your body and what you do. Hopefully, there’s a lot of people out there that are stronger than me and keep fighting, stand for what they believe, and hopefully, it works out for them.”
Andrew Wiggins: “I feel like my only option was to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA.”
He went into much more detail tonight on why he was hesitant pic.twitter.com/lQ1JbDdqJg
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 5, 2021
The NBA has been dealing with the fallout from multiple players speaking out against the vaccine since NBA Media Day last Monday.
Star shooting guard Bradley Beal — second leading scorer in the NBA last season – told reporters that he was not vaccinated, and questioned why those that have received the shot are still getting COVID.
“Every player, every person in this world is going to make their own decision for themselves,” Beal said. “I would like an explanation to people with the vaccines … ‘why are they still getting COVID?’ If that’s something that we are supposed to highly be protected from. It’s funny that … ‘oh it reduces your chances of going to the hospital.’ It doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID. Right?”
Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic spent time discussing his stance with reporters, saying that he was “hesitant at this time.”
“I’ve had COVID in the past,” Isaac said. “Our understanding of antibodies, of natural immunity, has changed a great deal from the onset of the pandemic. And it’s still evolving. I understand that the vaccine would help if you catch COVID and you’d be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine. Taking the vaccine would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to albeit rare chance but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself.”
For Wiggins, the issue seems to ultimately have come down to the ability to continue playing basketball.
“It feels good to play, but getting vaccinated, that’s going to be something that stays in my mind for a long time,” Wiggins said. “It’s not something I wanted to do, but I was forced to.”
Wiggins discussed the support he received from his teammates, especially Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
“It was good. It was nothing but love,” Wiggins said. “Especially from Draymond, Iguodala said a lot of good stuff … There was a lot of support on the team. I feel like whatever decision I decided to make, they were going to stand by it. It felt good.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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