The Nets have been complying with New York’s vaccine mandate, meaning anyone who wants to participate in the season has got to get their vaccine. On Friday, Kyrie Irving was listed as ineligible, because he is refusing to comply, and missed his first game.
The Nets GM Sean Marks seems regretful that Irving is missing playing time, but he’s using pretty careful language to make it seem like he is supporting Irving’s choice.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” said Marks in a statement. “Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of our team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
On Wednesday night, Irving took to Instagram Live to explain to viewers why he has decided to refuse the vaccine, BroBible reports. He doesn’t say much, except for reiterating that he knows the consequences of his decisions and kind of implying that he wouldn’t be giving up money and opportunities if he didn’t feel it was worth it.
“I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” Irving said. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.”
He continued, “I’m rocking with all those who have lost their jobs to this mandate and I’m rocking with all those who chose to be vaccinated and are choosing to be safe as well. I’m on both sides of all this. I support and respect everybody’s decision.”