In his first official comments since declaring in March he had decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins stood his ground and defended his stance against getting the shot, saying he'd "keep fighting for what I believe."
The headliner at Warriors media day Monday, Wiggins took questions from interviewers curious about whether the 26-year-old veteran would alter his views -- especially after the NBA rejected his request for a religious exemption to the local COVID-19 vaccination order.
Judging from his comments, Wiggins may seem willing to risk a significant portion of his $31.6 million salary if he does not play any home games because of his unvaccinated status.
"I'm just going to keep all that private right now," Wiggins said. "Again, anything that has to do with my status, vaccination, I'm just going to keep that private. It's a personal matter, so I'm going to keep it personal and private.
"Back is definitely against the wall. But I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe. And whether it's one thing or another, get a vaccination or not get a vaccination, who knows? I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe and what I believe is right. What's right to one person isn't right to the other and vice versa."
Back in March, Wiggins discussed his perspective on the COVID-19 vaccine, adding perhaps he'd eventually get the shot if "forced to somehow."
"To each his own, really. Whoever wants to get it, can get it; whoever doesn't want to get it, don't get it," Wiggins said then. "Right now, I'm not getting it, but it's no knock on anyone else that's getting it. I make my own decisions. But right now, I decided not to get it."
When asked how his organization could make season plans with the potential for a primary starter to miss half of his team's games, general manager Bob Myers deflected Monday.
"We're optimistic that we'll have our full complement of players," said Myers. "We'll just leave that at that."
Wiggins averaged 18.6 points and 4.9 rebounds last season -- his first full campaign with the Golden State Warriors. The swingman shot a career-high 47.7 percent from the field and a personal-best 38.0 percent from 3-point range in 71 games (all starts).
The Warriors, who went 39-33 last season as the eighth seed in the Western Conference, begin their season Oct. 19 at the Los Angeles Lakers.