NBA Player Can No Longer Play Home Games After Religious Vaccine Exemption Denied

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A player for the Golden State Warriors can no longer play home games at San Francisco’s Chase Center thanks to the city’s health ordinance requiring proof of vaccination for spectators and participants alike at large indoor events such as basketball games.

The city’s ordinance for the venue does not allow for religious or medical exemptions and there is no alternative option to test negative for COVID instead of presenting proof of vaccination.

“At large and mega indoor events, all patrons 12 and older must be vaccinated at this time,” the San Francisco Department of Public Health told SFGate on Friday.

“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,” it continued. “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.”

Forward Andrew Wiggins was denied a religious exemption from the city’s mandate that he had sought from the NBA, which determined he is now ineligible to play when the team is at home. Yet even if he had been considered exempt over religious objections to the vaccine, it would not matter considering the extent of the city ordinance.

“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for a 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 NBA announced Friday. “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warrior home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”

TownHall notes that the NBA is requiring coaches, referees, and team employees to be vaccinated, but does not have a requirement for players. The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, however, are facing a similar hurdle in New York City’s vaccine requirement for indoor events.

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