NBA Denies Andrew Wiggins' Vaccine Exemption Request

The NBA has denied Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins' vaccination exemption request, according to a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Citing "religious reasons", Wiggins will not be allowed to play home games for Golden State due to San Francisco's requirement that everyone attending large indoor gatherings must be vaccinated. The league released a statement to ESPN on the matter.

"The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins' request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health's order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events," the statement read. "Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city's vaccination requirements."

In essence, this is the only shot that Wiggins is refusing to take. Alright, alright, I went there. Seriously however, this is another example of the false notion that we have the freedom to take the vaccine or not. And now it's impacting sports at the highest level.

The overwhelming majority of athletes are not at risk, yet are being succumbed to taking a shot that hasn't been 100 percent proven to be effective. Look no further than the spike among COVID-19 cases of vaccinated people.

Wiggins' dilemna is not unique, as we've seen a few other similar scenarios take place. Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi has refused to take the vaccine, the only player on Detroit's roster to do so, according to general manager Steve Yzerman. While Yzerman said publicly on Thursday that they supoort Bertuzzi's decison, his decision carries heavy consequences.

Bertuzzi will not be allowed to travel and play in Detroit's eight games in Canada this season, forfeting $400,000 this season. Not ideal for Bertuzzi nor Detroit.

Wiggins, meanwhile, has a few weeks to decide what he wants to do as the mandate goes in effect next month. The season begins on Oct. 19. It's likely this story ends with Wiggins getting the shot, as it's hard to see him sitting out for 41/82 games this season.

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Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.