Kyrie Irving’s unvaccinated status has been one of the talking points of the NBA preseason.
The fallout and the impact of his decision, not just on his career, but on the Nets’ 2021-22 season as well, have encompassed what has been an entertaining preseason.
After walking a tightrope in all interactions with the media since training camp began regarding his position on the matter, the Networks finally took a stand and announced that Irving would not play or practice with the team until fully eligible to do so.
In the meantime, Irving has kept quiet, in addition to a brief interview about Zoom with reporters on Media Day. On Wednesday night, the All-Star point guard broke that silence by taking to Instagram live.
“It’s about my life and what I choose to do,” Irving said, referring to his decision not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The financial consequences, I know I don’t even want to do that,” Irving said. “But it’s a reality that to be in New York City, to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose not to be vaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask everyone to just respect that choice.
Kyrie Irving addressed his stance on not getting the vaccine on IG Live: “It’s about choosing what’s best for you. Do you think I really want to lose money? Do you think I really want to give up my dream of going after a championship? Do you think I really just want to quit my job? pic.twitter.com/cYHCWGbnCo
– Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 14, 2021
It was due to a New York City vaccination mandate that Irving would not allow the team to play in home games at Barclays Center and away games at Madison Square Garden.
His stance, which he believes gives a voice to those who have no voice and who have lost their jobs due to vaccine mandates, has nothing to do with the Nets’ organization or his teammates, he clarifies.
“This is my life,” Irving said. “I can do whatever I want with this, this is a body that I have here. And you are telling me what to do with my body. This has everything to do with what is happening in our world. And I am being grouped into something that is bigger than the simple game of basketball. “
Additionally, his posture and nature sparked reports and conversations that the point guard was leaving the game to retire. However, on the social media platform, he quickly put an end to that discussion.
“No one is kidnapping this voice,” Irving said.
“See if they put this on their TV channels and if they put this real truth somewhere before you start talking about me and what I’m doing with my life. And no, I’m not going to withdraw. And no, no I’m going and I’m going. This game like this. There’s still a lot of work to do. “
Since Media Day, Irving has only participated with the team at their training camp in San Diego, followed by an outdoor practice a week later. No practice or games.
His live session on Instagram, while clarifying some aspects of retirement and schedules, still leaves many things in the dark. Will you play or will you not be available all season because you are not vaccinated?
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.