Last Updated on July 20, 2022
NBA all-star and reigning champion Andrew Wiggins says that despite all of his recent accomplishments, he regrets taking the COVID-19 jab. Wiggins, a forward with the Golden State Warriors, was required to accept the jab under a San Francisco vaccine mandate or be forced to sit out all of his team’s home games, having been denied a religious exemption by the NBA.
During a recent interview with the sports media site FanSided, Wiggins was asked about taking the COVID vaccine ahead of the 2021-2022 NBA season, which ended in his Golden State Warriors winning the league championship. To the apparent surprise of the FanSided interviewer, Wiggins said that he regrets taking the shot, despite his all-star season and championship run, and that he feels like he didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
“I still wish I didn’t get it, to be honest with you,” Wiggins said. “But you gotta do what you gotta do, you know?”
“I did it and I was an all-star this year, and a champion. So that was the good part, just not missing out on the year. Best year of my career,” Wiggins went on, before expressing concerns about what he was forced to put in his body, saying that it “wasn’t my choice.”
“But for my body, I just don’t like putting all that stuff in my body. So I didn’t like that and I didn’t like that it wasn’t my choice. I didn’t like that,” Wiggins said, remarking that he had been given an ultimatum of “get this or don’t play.”
Ahead of the 2021-2022 NBA season, Wiggins’ vaccine status was the topic of much media scrutiny, alongside others like Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who has yet to accept the vaccine and successfully waited out New York City’s mandate. As a member of the Golden State Warriors, Wiggins is subject to San Francisco’s vaccine mandate, which bars the unvaccinated over the age of 14 from partaking in indoor events, including NBA basketball games and practices. He applied for a religious exemption from the NBA, which would have allowed him to skirt the San Fransico vaccine mandate, but was denied.
While the NBA itself has no vaccine mandate, as the players’ union has staunchly opposed them implementing one, several cities that house teams do, and the NBA has co-operated fully with them, seemingly at the expense of their own players.
Other professional sports leagues have faced similar issues, notably Major League Baseball, where multiple teams’ cross-border trips to play the Toronto Blue Jays have become a frequent news topic as several MLB players have been barred from entering the country due to their COVID vaccine status.
In the world of tennis, Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic was even detained over his vaccine status during a trip to Australia and has been barred from entering the United States to compete in the US Open under Biden’s COVID rules, due to being unvaccinated.