Kyrie Irving Shares His COVID-19 Vaccine Stance, Says He Doesn’t Plan on Retiring

Kyrie Irving Shares His COVID-19 Vaccine Stance, Says He Doesn’t Plan on Retiring

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Kyrie Irving took to Instagram Live on Wednesday night to talk about the controversy surrounding his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Brooklyn Nets star said he thinks individuals should be able to decide whether or not they want to take the vaccine and said he does not support mandates. 

He also said that he has no plans of retiring from the NBA.

Irving hopped on IG hours after Stephen A. Smith blasted the 29-year-old’s “stupid” decision to not get the vaccine, which has been scientifically proven to be both safe and effective at combating serious COVID-19 complications. A staggering 719,725people have died from the disease in the United States since the start of the pandemic. 

If Irving does not get the vaccine, as is required by New York City health guidelines, he will be unable to play home games with the Nets. He’s also set to lose a significant amount of money if he continues to hold out. Irving will miss out on $381,181 for every game he can’t play because of his refusal to get the vaccine, ESPN’s Bobby Marks previously reported. 

“It’s reality that in order to be in New York City and on a team, I have to be vaccinated,” Irving said while on IG Live. “I choose to be unvaccinated and that’s my choice.”

Nets GM Sean Marks released a statement on October 12 saying that Irving will not be allowed to “play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant.”

Marks continued, “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 term, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”

The Nets are set to kick off their regular season on Oct. 19 in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks without Irving.