SAN FRANCISCO — There's reportedly a big problem brewing for the Golden State Warriors.
According to a report by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins remains unvaccinated and the Warriors are beginning to worry.
The NBA is not requiring players to be vaccinated against coronavirus this year, however, local laws in New York and San Francisco require proof of vaccination for entry into public indoor spaces including arenas and stadiums. The NBA reportedly informed the Knicks, Nets and Warriors earlier this month that unvaccinated players will not be allowed to enter home arenas or team facilities.
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If a local jurisdiction (New York, San Francisco) requires vaccination to enter an arena, then an unvaccinated player must get a religious or medical exemption from the league to play on his home court.
According to Simmons' report, league sources believe the NBA will grant Wiggins a religious exemption for vaccine, but San Francisco has the power to override it inside the city. Simmons reports the San Francisco health department said it won't comment on Wiggins' situation unless the NBA grants him an exemption.
If Wiggins refuses to get the vaccine and San Francisco overrides his exemption, if made, then the Warriors are dealing with a serious problem. Wiggins was the Warriors' second leading scorer last season, averaging nearly 19 points per game.
Wiggins will be hit hard as well. The Chronicle reports he would forfeit more than $350,000 for each game he is forced to miss. Wiggins is set to make over $31.5 million this season, if he plays every game.
While the vaccine rules impact the Knicks, Nets and Warriors significantly for home games, the same rules don't apply for visiting teams. Shams Charania reported earlier this month that visiting players are exempt from the vaccine rules in New York and San Francisco.
The Chronicle reports that the San Francisco health department will require unvaccinated players from visiting teams to remain at least 6 feet away from members of the public for the entire duration of the event, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the game, and they must wear a mask when not performing or playing.
ESPN reported on Sept. 14 that the NBA says roughly 85% of players are currently vaccinated against coronavirus. The 2021-22 season tips off on Oct. 19.
Charania reported earlier this month that vaccinated players will undergo little to no restrictions, while unvaccinated players will face restrictions:
- Vaccinated players will not be required to undergo regular coronavirus testing during 2021-22 season.
- Unvaccinated players will undergo regular testing.
- Vaccinated players will not have to quarantine if they are determined to have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- Unvaccinated players will have to quarantine for seven days if close contact.
- Unvaccinated players will have to wear masks at facilities/team travel.
- Unvaccinated players will not be able to sit next to other players during activities.
- If all players on a team are fully vaccinated, NBA and NBPA reportedly believe there will be no restrictions on players‘ away-from-work activities (bars, restaurants, clubs, lounges).