NBA denies Warriors star Wiggins' request for covid-19 vaccination exemption
San Francisco and New York teams will face stricter vaccination rules and Andrew Wiggins will subsequently be unable to play home games.
Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins will be unable to play home games until he meets San Francisco's vaccination requirement after the NBA denied his request for an exemption.
The NBA put out a statement on Friday confirming its decision after Wiggins had sought an exemption for religious reasons to play at the Warriors' Chase Center.
Under local covid-19 regulations in San Francisco, Warriors players are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arena, unless an exemption is granted for medical or religious reasons.
"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 league statement said.
"Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors' home games until he fulfils the city's vaccination requirements."
San Francisco and New York face stricter covid rules
Unvaccinated players are permitted to play in the NBA this season with regular testing but there are stricter rules for teams based in San Francisco along with New York.
The announcement comes shortly after the New York Knicks announced all of their roster are vaccinated. The rules also apply to the star-studded Brooklyn Nets.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health's decree may have overridden any NBA exemption granted to Wiggins.
"At large and mega indoor events, all patrons 12 and older must be vaccinated at this time," the San Francisco Department of Public Health statement said.
"Under the current order, if unvaccinated, they cannot enter indoor areas regardless of the reason they are unvaccinated and cannot test out of this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption.
"This same rule applies to performers and players employed by the host at large and mega indoor events who are covered by the vaccination requirements of the Health Order."
The Warriors are due to commence their 2021-22 NBA season against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 19. The San Francisco mandate does not take effect until October 13.
Wiggins played 71 games last NBA season, averaging 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.