Most pro athletes are religious in some way. However, it’s never easy to know if a certain player is spiritual or, if they are, what they believe in. Bigger stars tend to be more vocal about their faith, but for players like Andrew Wiggins that usually stays a secret.
This guide looks at the shooting guard’s faith. It does so by breaking down, not just what Wiggins believes in, but the reason his personal beliefs slipped into the public eye over the last year.
Close to the Chest
While it’s hard to gauge just how many NBA players are religious, most of the ones who are vocal about their faith tend towards Christianity. That shouldn’t be surprising, given that America is primarily a Christian nation. Knowing that, it’s easy to assume which way Wiggins trends.
The Canadian shooting guard has never spoken publicly about his faith, nor has he given any set clues about what he believes in. That being said, he’s a strong player with obvious religious ties that mean a lot to him.
As he hasn’t changed his birth name, something very common in Islam, and due to the fact he’s from a western country, most people assume he’s some sort of Christian. That’s purely speculative, but it’s not a bad guess when trying to figure out what he believes.
A State of a Shot
Most NBA players keep their personal beliefs close to their chest. Wiggins is not an exception to that rule, but his own faith did come up at the end of 2021 due to his personal feelings and choices surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
While most players on the Warriors decided to get the vaccine and protect themselves against the disease, Wiggins did not. Many players, including Kyrie Irving, abstained for various reasons, but Wiggins made a stir when he chose to not get the jab on religious grounds.
The league said he would not be allowed to play if he didn’t get the shot, Wiggins appealed by saying they could not keep him out of the season on account of his religion. The NBA reviewed his case, and ultimately decided he did not have enough justification to avoid the jab.
That choice by Wiggins reignited the vaccine debate and brought up the idea of religion in combination with politics. He may not have outright said why his religion kept him away from the vaccine, or how those two were connected, but it still mattered in the grand scheme of things.
Even after being told he would not play, Wiggins didn’t back down. He stated that his plan was to fight “for what he believed in” and said he wanted to keep fighting for what he thought was right. Nobody is sure what that is, but, as with most religious aspects, it’s certainly personal.
Reporters asked Wiggins what his beliefs were and why they prevented him from being vaccinated, but the ever-private player refused to say anything more. He simply told them it was “none of their business” and it was “his problem” to deal with.
He did eventually give in and get the shot, but was not happy about it. It’s still something that he’s unhappy with, but playing basketball during the year proved to be more important in the long run.
At the end of the day, religion is a personal matter. Every person on Earth has their own beliefs, and that goes for professional athletes as well. Wiggins is not someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, but he takes his faith seriously.
It informs a lot of his decisions, and undoubtedly plays a key role in helping him grow into the well-rounded player he is today. While nobody knows the details, they don’t need to. All that matters is that Wiggins takes them seriously.