SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has declined to discuss whether he remains unvaccinated, but it certainly sounds like that’s the case.
While speaking with KRON4 Sports’ Jason Dumas on Monday during Warriors Media Day ahead of the pre-season, Wiggins said he will continue to stand by his beliefs when it comes to not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
“My back is definitely against the wall, but I’m just gonna keep fighting for what I believe. Whether it’s one thing or another – get the vaccination or not get the vaccination – who knows, I’m just gonna 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,” he said.
When asked what’s the reason for not explaining what he believed, Wiggins replied, “It’s none of your business – that’s what it comes down to.”
“I don’t ask you guys about your beliefs, I don’t ask you guys what you think is right or wrong, you know, we’re different people. [It] could be like parenting. Some people shed their beliefs onto their children, some people let their children grow up to believe what they want to believe. Who are you guys that I have to explain what I believe, or what’s right or wrong in my mind? We’re two totally different people…” Wiggins added.
“I’ll say something when I’m ready.”
He faces the possibility of not being allowed into Golden State’s home building at Chase Center for games come Oct. 13 when the San Francisco Department of Public Health begins requiring proof of vaccination for large indoor events.
He also stands to lose more than $350,000 per game, and if he doesn’t play in any home games he would surrender half of his $31.6 million salary. He said, “It’s my problem not yours.”
Wiggins said he has been given some rules to follow when in the team’s facility but wouldn’t say whether he is required to wear a mask around teammates, for example.
The NBA on Friday said it had “reviewed and denied” Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption and that he would not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfilled the vaccine mandate. Anyone 12 or older is required to show proof of vaccination to attend indoor events at Chase Center, and that message is on the Warriors’ website for fans.
“It’s personal, it’s private,” general manager Bob Myers said of players’ vaccination statuses. “What I would say is that I’m optimistic come the first game here at Chase we’ll have our full complement of team as far as who’s healthy and who isn’t.”
Coach Steve Kerr said he hadn’t given any thought to the idea of Wiggins not being available.
“We’ll just see how everything plays out,” Kerr said. “We’re hopeful that it all is resolved over the next couple of weeks, and we’re going into camp tomorrow with a plan to have everybody out on the floor and ready to roll.”
The 26-year-old Wiggins, entering his eighth NBA season, averaged 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 blocks per game last season.
The Warriors’ first regular-season home game is scheduled for Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’m not even thinking that far ahead. I’m thinking day by day,” Wiggins said.
For now, Myers isn’t making contingency plans.
“I don’t get to that level because like I said previously, my belief and my thoughts are that we’ll have the full team,” Myers said. “I’m not preparing really for anything different right now.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.