Basketball star Andrew Wiggins has revealed his fears about suffering the same “injuries or reactions” as “a lot of people” he knows after reluctantly taking a Covid vaccine in order to be allowed to continue playing in the NBA.
Golden State Warriors ace Wiggins is one of the most high-profile sports stars in the US known to have been reluctant to accept a vaccine, ultimately taking the jab with his career hanging in the balance if he chose not to.
The 26-year-old’s application for religious exemption failed, and he faced a tight deadline with a public health mandate for over-12s in San Francisco attending indoor events to be vaccinated being introduced on October 13.
Speaking after the Warriors’ pre-season opener at the Portland Trail Blazers, Wiggins was less reserved in his views than he was about taking the treatment.
Andrew Wiggins when asked if he feels good about being vaccinated to play: “It’s not something that I wanted to do. I was kind of forced to.” pic.twitter.com/HKbvwICJUR
— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) October 5, 2021
This is heartbreaking. For all of you who would cast shame on the man, he is the one that has to live with his conscience that he was forced at virtual gun point to violate. These are dark days for the free world. I don’t blame Andrew. I blame society at large for allowing it.
— Aaron ⚔ (@morskie1) October 5, 2021
“They didn’t make the rule,” he said of his team. “But I guess to do certain stuff, to work, I guess you don’t own your body. That’s what it comes down to.
“If you want to work in society today, then I guess they made the rules of what goes in your body and what you do.
“Hopefully, there are a lot of people out there that are stronger than me and keep fighting, stand for what they believe – and, hopefully, it works out for them.”
Wiggins is not expected to miss any practice time after taking the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot. He will be fully vaccinated before the Warriors’ first home game against the LA Clippers on October 21, and has previously had Covid, describing it as not “too bad”.
“I know a lot of people get reactions or injuries from getting the vaccination, so I don’t know what it’s going to do to me in 10 years,” he said of his “tough decision”.
“I feel like I could go on for days about why I didn’t want to get it. Most importantly, I don’t know what’s going to happen or what it’s going to do to my body in 10, 20 years.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA. It feels good to play, but getting vaccinated – that’s going to be something that stays in my mind for a long time. It’s not something I wanted to do, but I was forced to.”
The forward claimed he had aches and chills after being vaccinated, adding that he had “nothing but love” from his teammates amid concerns from his relatives.
“It’s not really something we believe in as a family,” he explained. “They know that I had to.
“It came down to get the vaccination or don’t play basketball. I’m 26. I have two kids. I want more kids.
“I’m trying to do something that will generate as much money as I can for my kids and my future kids, [creating] generational wealth. So I took the gamble, took the risk – and, hopefully, I’m good.”