*Ever since B-baller Kyrie Irving resumed playing games with his teammates, there have been hopes in Brooklyn that he would reconsider his stance on Covid-19 vaccination to play home games for the Nets. His earlier statements seemed to suggest he might change his mind at some point.
But on Monday, he put the matter to rest, leaving no doubt about the road he has taken. After his team lost to Cleveland, he was asked by the New York Post and ESPN reporters if he wasn’t concerned his absence was hurting the team and wouldn’t he change his thinking on the vaccination mandate. His lengthy response dampened any hopes that he would soon return to the fold.
He pressed on with his previous argument that he is against the vaccination mandate.
“I stay rooted in my decision. That’s just what it is. It’s not going to be swayed by one thing in this NBA life that is somehow brought to my attention as being more important than what’s going on in the real world. It’s just not happening for me,” he said, adding that he respects everyone’s decision and would not try convincing anyone to follow him, but would stand rooted in what he believes in.
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Irving is under no obligation to get the vaccine to play with his teammates because the NBA players union successfully opposed the vaccine mandate. So he can always play in the team. However, he cannot play Nets home games in New York City because the city has a vaccine mandate for indoor spaces, including restaurants and gyms. That’s why Irving cannot play in games against the Knicks or in Toronto.
It is worth noting that about 97% of players are vaccinated, and 70% have gotten the booster, so Irving is in the minority.
“You’re bringing my vaccination status into a basketball game, and I live the majority of my life away from this. So when I say I’m not getting vaccinated, I’m making a choice with my life,” he adamantly continued.