Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Kyrie Irving's decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be hot button issue within the world of sports. Currently, health guidelines in the city of New York require members of the New York Knicks to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before participating in any home games. Despite this mandate, Irving has decided to remain unvaccinated. As a result, he would only be eligible to play in games outside of the city for the foreseeable future. In response, the Nets have announced that Irving will not join the team until he is eligible to play in all games. One day later, Irving made the decision to speak about his decision to remain unvaccinated via Instagram Live.
The 2016 NBA Champion explained that he feels compelled to speak up for those who may lose their jobs due to vaccine mandates in their place of work. Irving argues that "nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies."
“I’m standing with all those that believe what is right. Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves. Seeing the way this is dividing our world up, it’s sad to see. People are losing jobs to mandates,” Irving said.
"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?"
Ultimately, the NBA star said the decision to remain unvaccinated is what is "best for [him] and [his] family."
"This wasn't an issue before the season started," Irving continued.
"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."
Despite his decision, Irving hopes to play in the NBA again later this season or next season.
"You think I really want to give up my dream to go after a championship?"
"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?"
As Irving's Instagram Live session went on, a number of people shared their thoughts about hat the Nets guard had to say.