Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving continues to refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite local mandates in the state of New York.
As a result of his refusal, Irving has emerged as the face of anti-vaxxers around the NBA. But, according to recent reports from NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic, the superstar point guard isn’t anti-vaccine at all — he’s anti vaccine mandate.
Per Charania, Irving is upset with the fact that people are being fired from their jobs in places where vaccines are mandated. A close source reportedly told The Athletic that the six-time All Star wants to “be a voice” for people who have had their lives affected due to imposed vaccine regulations.
From the report:
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.
These reports also claimed that Irving is “not believed to be anti-science” — contradicting reports from a few weeks back that indicated he was spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories from his vice president role in the player’s union.
Just like the people he’s looking to speak for with his vaccine reluctance, Irving seems to have lost his job due to vaccine mandates. Earlier today, the Nets announced that their star PG would not be allowed to practice or play with the team until he’s able to become a full participant — in other words, until he becomes vaccinated.
As an unvaccinated player for the New York-based franchise, Irving is currently not allowed to participate in any home practices or games. Instead of letting him travel with the team and play in away contests, the Nets have decided to eliminate the distraction from their title-contending squad.
When/if Irving feels he’s gotten his message across, he could theoretically receive his shots and return to team activities.
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