Kyrie Irving, the NBA star who has been indefinitely banned from practicing or playing with the Brooklyn Nets because of his refusal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, spoke out publicly for the first time Wednesday night since the team banned him from the game. to hold a competition. court, which said his refusal was a matter of personal liberty.
“Do you think I really want to lose money?” Irving, who is set to make about $40 million this season, said on his Instagram feed in a meandering monologue of inaccurate medical information. More than 90 percent of the players in the league have been vaccinated, a percentage much higher than in the general population of the United States.
“Do you think I really want to give up my dream of going after a championship?” Irving, 29, said. “Do you think I really just want to quit my job? Do you think I really want to sit at home?’
On Tuesday, the Nets said they had banned Irving from playing until he “qualifies to be a full participant”. New York City requires that most teens and adults have received at least one vaccination to enter facilities such as sports arenas, and Irving has not practiced with the Nets in Brooklyn. Irving joined the Nets in 2019 when they built a team of superstars including Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Irving asked for respect for his decision not to remain vaccinated and said he has no plans to retire. He posited his refusal to be vaccinated in his opposition to mandates, saying no one should be “forced” to do so.
Irving falsely claimed that his decision not to remain vaccinated does not harm other people. The highly contagious Delta variant has spread rapidly in areas with low vaccination coverage. And hospitals in those areas are overrun with unvaccinated patients, leaving few beds and staff to treat other patients.