According to sources cited by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Kyrie Irving is not anti-vaccine and is refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine for reasons he believes are bigger than basketball.
The Brooklyn Nets have made their stance on the point guard public, having announced that he will not be able to play or train with the team unless he fulfills New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements, and it will be interesting to see how this saga plays out.
With the Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia headed toward resolution, it’s hoped that Kyrie Irving will not continue to be a story when the NBA season begins.
Charania reports that the All-Star guard is refusing to get vaccinated because he is upset that people are losing their jobs over vaccine mandates.
“Multiple sources with direct knowledge of Irving’s decision have told The Athletic that Irving is not anti-vaccine and that his stance is that he is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. It’s a stance that Irving has explained to close teammates. To him, this is about a grander fight than the one on the court and Irving is challenging a perceived control of society and people’s livelihood, according to sources with knowledge of Irving’s mindset. It is a decision that he believes he is capable to make given his current life dynamics. “Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless,” one source said.”
It’s understood that other teams believe the Nets would be open to trading Irving if a significant offer comes their way. The player is eligible to play in all markets except New York City and San Francisco but it’s unknown as to whether or not he would want to play for another franchise at the moment.