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Report: Warriors Concerned About Andrew Wiggins' Availability Due to Vaccine Refusal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IV

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 21: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors warms up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament on May 21, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Francisco Department of Public Health may play a role in whether Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins can play home games this season if he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, and there is reportedly "increasing concern" from the team.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Warriors are worried about Wiggins availability, especially early in the season, because he is not vaccinated. 

Monte Poole @MontePooleNBCS

Sources: Andrew Wiggins has been in the Bay Area this month but is restricted to individual sessions at Chase Center. Under current SF protocols, if he isn't fully vaccinated over next 20 days, those workouts will end.

Wiggins told reporters in March, "I don't really see myself getting it any time soon, unless I'm forced to," when discussing the vaccine.

Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the NBA is not requiring players to be vaccinated this season in part because it is a "non-starter" in negotiations with the Players' Association.

Yet Simmons explained unvaccinated players will need a religious or medical exemption from the league to play home games where local jurisdictions require vaccines to enter the arena, which is the case in San Francisco where the Warriors play.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health could override an exemption even if Wiggins is given one.

"We are actively addressing the matter of requests for religious exemption from vaccinations across many industries and will work with our business and entertainment community on next steps," the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in a statement. "We will provide further clarification on this topic."

Holmes and Wojnarowski noted approximately 85 percent of the NBA's players are vaccinated. The league will also potentially implement stricter protocols for those who aren't, including requirements that they eat, fly and ride buses in different sections than vaccinated teammates and have lockers that are socially distanced.

The league is discussing such protocols with the Players' Association.

This will be Wiggins' second full season with the Warriors. The Minnesota Timberwolves traded him to Golden State during the 2019-20 campaign.

Golden State starts its 2021-22 season on Oct. 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers.