Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins' was again complaining to reporters Monday night about the vaccine mandate that forced his hand last week into getting a shot he didn't want. And he whined on expressing unfounded fears of "cancerous cells" and potential long-term effects of the vaccines based on no credible information.
As the Chronicle reports, Wiggins spoke out Monday following the Warriors' exhibition game in Portland, three days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot. In a perfect summation of why workplace vaccine mandates are clearly what's necessary in the face of a public health emergency and a doubting, misinformed, and ill-informed public, Wiggins said Monday, "I guess to do certain stuff, to work and all that, I guess you don’t own your body. That’s what it comes down to. You want to work in society today, I guess they make the rules of what goes into your body and what you do."
Wiggins, who previously had a mild case of COVID-19, was the last holdout on the Warriors team who had not received a vaccine when everyone else did in the spring. He now says that no one in his family is vaccinated, and he doesn't even like taking over-the-counter medications. Wiggins claims to have had an allergic reaction to Tylenol several years ago, after which he says he began carrying an EpiPen.
"I feel like the only options were to get vaccinated or not be in the NBA," Wiggins said, adding that he feared "gene damage" down the road, and said, "There’s no studies on whether it’s going to cause cancerous cells."
Andrew Wiggins: “I feel like my only option was to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA.”— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 5, 2021
He went into much more detail tonight on why he was hesitant pic.twitter.com/lQ1JbDdqJg
Wiggins waited until the last possible day to receive the one-shot J&J vaccine before he would have been ineligible to play the Warriors' preseason home game against the Trail Blazers on October 15 — the first day that the mandate for full vaccination takes effect for the Warriors.
Like Nicki Minaj several weeks ago, Wiggins is repeating easily debunked information that is spreading on social media and among vaccine-skeptics and family members. Also, his choice to continue being defiant after getting a vaccine himself is incredibly irresponsible given who may be listening.
Wiggins reportedly told other vaccine holdouts to "keep fighting, stand for what they believe and hopefully it works out for them," even though it didn't for him.
There is no league-wide mandate to get vaccinated from the NBA, but they are requiring team members to abide by any mandates present at their home arenas. Had he held his ground and remained unvaccinated, Wiggins could have been docked $350,000 for every home game he missed, losing out on $15 million or half his salary this season.
As SFist earlier reported, Wiggins had sought a religious exemption from getting the vaccine, which the NBA and SF Department of Public Health denied. As of the Warriors' Media Day last week, Wiggins still had not been vaccinated, and declined to elaborate why when asked by reporters, saying it was no one's business.
Wiggins also attended the event and spoke to reporters indoors without a mask on.
90 to 95% of all NBA players are reportedly now vaccinated, including 100% of the Warriors and Knicks teams. Like Wiggins, Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving has refused to be vaccinated and done some grandstanding at press conferences about not wanting to be told what to put in his body. And NBC News reports that several other players have been holdouts, like Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., who says he's had COVID twice and doesn't want a shot.
Also, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac remains unvaccinated and says he has "natural immunity" from a previous infection, and Washington Wizards player Bradley Beal has been a holdout, saying he questions why people are getting vaccinated if you can still be infected after being vaccinated.
To be clear, people who previously were infected with the original COVID strains are being reinfected and sometimes having severe cases with the Delta variant, and doctors recommend everyone receive a vaccine to insure stronger immune protection.
Also, people have to stop talking about what they "believe" about not getting vaccines as if this is some kind of act of religious freedom: It is not. It's a pandemic, and it's a public health imperative, and your supposedly strongly held beliefs are subject to change as soon as a close family member is in the ICU dying of COVID. Or you're threatened with a $15 million pay cut.
Top image: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second quarter during the preseason game at Moda Center on October 04, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)