After a career year, Warriors’ Wiggins still wishes he didn’t get vaccinated

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins brings the ball up against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP/file)


Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 situation, in sports and around the world, is constantly evolving. Readers in Canada can consult the country’s public health website for the latest.


One All-Star Game start and an NBA championship title later, Canadian basketball star Andrew Wiggins is still feeling regretful about getting the COVID-19 vaccine which allowed him to play the entire 2021-22 season.

“I still wish I didn’t get it, to be honest with you,” Wiggins said in a one-on-one interview with FanSided released Monday. “But you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Before the season began, Wiggins refused to get vaccinated, citing concerns over potential unknown long-term effects. The Golden State Warriors forward even requested a religious exemption from the vaccine which was ultimately denied by the NBA.

Ultimately, Wiggins chose to get vaccinated, but says he didn’t feel like he had a choice due to the City of San Francisco requiring everyone 12 years or older — including performers and players — to be vaccinated to attend large and mega indoor events.

“I did it, and I was an all-star this year and, you know, a champion. That was the good part, just not missing out on the year, the best year of my career. But, for my body, I just don’t like putting 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 it was either ‘get this, or don’t play,’” he said to FanSided.

Kyrie Irving, who faced similar restrictions in New York City as a player for the Brooklyn Nets, never chose to get vaccinated and missed the vast majority of the team’s home games throughout the 2021-2022 campaign, while forfeiting his salary for games missed due to vaccination status. In total, Irving gave up nearly $17 million.

Wiggins went on to play in 73 of 82 games as a key member for the Warriors, averaging 17.2 points while serving as the team’s primary wing defender. He then took his play up a notch in the playoffs en route to his first NBA title.

Had Wiggins not decided to get vaccinated, he would’ve missed close to half of the season and therefore nearly half of his $31 million salary for the 2021-22 campaign.

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