Some Golden State Warriors could be facing a conundrum as the 2021-22 NBA season approaches.
Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area reported Monday that unvaccinated Warriors players could potentially lose a lot of money pursuant to the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s new policy governing entrance into venues such as the Chase Center. The policy holds that, by October 13, hosts of “indoor Mega-Events and Large Indoor Events” must require proof of full vaccination to be shown before allowing entrance into their facility. These provisions will apply to all employed staff, including players, but do not apply to players or performers who are not employed by the host.
Poole mentions Warriors swingman Andrew Wiggins as one player who previously announced his intention to avoid all COVID-19 vaccines unless he was “forced” to take it. If Wiggins does not show proof of full vaccination by Oct. 13, he will be denied entrance to the Chase Center for home games. That would cost him his game check (with a pre-tax value of about $360,000) for every contest that he misses.
Opposing players, though they need not provide proof of full vaccination, will still be subject to strict guidelines while inside of the Chase Center if they do not provide such proof. These include keeping six feet away from all members of the public, giving proof of a recent negative test, and wearing a mask at all times except when actively playing.
The most likely scenario is that Wiggins and the rest of the Warriors will get fully vaccinated before the start of the new NBA season on Oct. 21, if they have not yet done so already. That way they will not jeopardize their team’s success as well as their own individual paychecks. Still, the Chase Center will pose a unique situation for unvaccinated players this season, just like we have seen in other sports.