On Wednesday, a day after Nets said that the seven-time All-star would not be allowed to start playing this season due to their vaccination status, is when Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving revealed that he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.
Sean Marks, who is the general manager of the Nets said on Tuesday that, “he would not play or practice with the team until he met eligibility requirements”, that’s when Kyrie disclosed his vaccination status, otherwise he was just denying to reveal it publicly.
Everyone including the Nets, New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors were warned by NBA about the new policies that were set by the local government regarding Covid-19. The new policy will not allow any unvaccinated players to play home games in New York and San Francisco.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability,” Marks said.
In the Instagram Live video, Irving said that “nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies,” and that his decision was not politically motivated.
“What would you do if you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised that you have exemptions or that you didn’t have to be forced to get the vaccine?” Irving said. “This wasn’t an issue before the season started. This wasn’t something that I foresaw coming where I prepared for it and had a chance to strategize on what was going to be best for me and my family.”
Irving will be allowed to practice at the team’s facility but will not be eligible to play in the Nets’ home games at Barclays Center due to the city’s vaccine mandate, according to a New York City Hall official.
However, the team issued an ultimatum on Tuesday, stating that Irving would be unable to play in any Nets games.
“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Marks said. “Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction,” he said.
“You think I really want to give up my dream to go after a championship?” Irving said in the video Wednesday. “Do 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 with my teammates that I’ve been able to grow with, to learn with?”
Irving said he has no intentions to retire. “Don’t believe that I’m going to give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Nets begin with defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in their first game of the 2021-22 season.