NBA: Wiggins, Irving have a COVID-19 jab dilemma

by Henry L. Liao

Jab, jab lang.

Unvaccinated players like Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors) and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) stand to lose more than $300,000 a game if they are unable to play home games in their respective arenas due to the vaccine mandates in the cities of San Francisco and New York.

Kyrie Irving [Instagram photo @kyrieirving]
Kyrie Irving [Instagram photo @kyrieirving]

It will likely go to arbitration if these teams do fine unvaccinated players since the NBA does not require players to be vaccinated (referees, coaches, team officials, and other team personnel are required). It is a local law that is keeping them away from those games, and not the players themselves.

The only way to reject vaccination is due to medical or religious exemptions. Wiggins tried to wiggle himself out by applying for religious exemption. The NBA and San Francisco city authorities turned it down.

Andrew Wiggins [Instagram photo: @22wiggins]
Andrew Wiggins [Instagram photo: @22wiggins]

Close to 90 percent of the 450-50 NBA players have been vaccinated, including Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga. Only 40-50 are not.

The vaccination rate for players in the ongoing WNBA season is 99 percent.

Henry Liao

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