Kyrie Irving Says Being Un-Vaxed Is About ‘Freedom’ In Response To The Nets

The New York Nets are refusing to allow Kyrie Irving a chance to play basketball this year due to his choice not to be injected with the Covid vaccine. Irving’s vaccination status became an issue after NYC ruled that everyone was required to be vaccinated to enter arenas – including athletes.

The vaccine mandate meant Irving would only be allowed to play away games and wouldn’t be allowed to practice with the team. The Nets announced that rather than accommodate Irving’s personal decision or advocate for the equal treatment of all players, the team decided to force Irving to sit out games and practices until he chose to be vaccinated.

In a 20 minute Instagram Live, Irving told viewers that the team made it clear that he needed to be vaccinated to be a part of it. “I chose to be unvaccinated,” he said. “And that was my choice. And I would ask y’all just to respect that choice.”

The basketball star said his beliefs keep him grounded.

He said, “It’s not about being anti-vax or about being on one side or the other. It’s about being true to what feels good for me. I’m still uncertain about a lot of things. And that’s OK. If I’m going to be demonized about having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, then that’s just what it is.”

Irving said the team told him at the beginning of the season that exemptions to getting the vaccine would be allowed for players not wanting to get vaccinated. “This wasn’t an issue before the season started. This wasn’t something I foresaw coming where I prepared for it.”

By sitting out this season, Kyrie Irving is set to lose more than $15.5 million, but he said, “it’s not about the money.”

  • “It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job?
  • “You think I really just want to sit at home and not go after the things my teammates that I’ve been able to grow with, to learn with?
  • “You think I want to give up my livelihood because of a mandate? Because I don’t have accommodations? Because I’m unvaccinated? Come on. I’m not going to be used as a person in this agenda.
  • “It’s not about the Nets. It’s not about the organization. It’s not about the NBA. It’s not politics. It’s not any one thing that I’m pinpointing. It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.”

Irving said he is standing with everyone who has lost their job due to the vaccine mandates. He hopes that standing up will show that everyone has a choice.

 

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