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4 Oct, 2021 15:12

‘Mandates work’: Vaccine-hesitant NBA star Andrew Wiggins receives Covid vaccine after having religious exemption request rejected

‘Mandates work’: Vaccine-hesitant NBA star Andrew Wiggins receives Covid vaccine after having religious exemption request rejected

Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins has received a vaccine against Covid-19 according to his coach, Steve Kerr, after having his request for an exemption due to religious reasons refused by NBA authorities.

With just two weeks remaining until the start of the new NBA season, Wiggins was among the most notable holdouts who had yet to receive a vaccine against the virus and had previously told US media that he would not take the shot unless he was "forced to" – doubling down on his statement at a media event last week. 

"Back is definitely against the wall but I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe," Wiggins said at the time.

"I'm going to keep fighting for what I believe is right. What's right to one person isn't right to the other and vice versa."

But shortly after those particular comments, it seems as if some arm-twisting has ensued.

"Andrew got vaccinated," Kerr announced to reporters on Sunday. "He just told me today that he was fine with us acknowledging it and that will be the end of it. So I'm not going to answer any questions beyond that."

The confirmation of Wiggins' vaccination comes after the league announced protocols for unvaccinated players in advance of the forthcoming season – in addition to local mandates in California and New York which, as they stand, would prohibit unvaccinated players from the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors from playing home games for their team.

Under those terms, relevant players will have to show documented proof that they have received at least one dose of a vaccine before being permitted to play. In addition, unvaccinated players who miss game time will be denied their game paychecks.

If the league is facing some accusations of strong-arming players into falling in line with vaccine advocacy, it seems to be working.

At the start of the NBA training camps, it was reported that around 90% of NBA players had been vaccinated against Covid-19 – a figure which has risen to 95% by the end of camp.

Also on rt.com NBA star Andrew Wiggins DENIED religious exemption from vaccine, ordered to miss home games until he receives jab

"Good. Hoping whatever worked to convince him they can replicate to everyone else," wrote sports media member Doug Russell in reaction to the news.

Some others weren't quite so keen. "Peer pressure is horrible," wrote one.

"Mandates work. I hope all work places mandate the vaccine – no more excuses," added another.

Also on rt.com NBA stars Irving & Wiggins ‘set to lose over $15 MILLION EACH’ after league says unvaxxed players won’t be paid if miss matches