Kyrie Irving is clarifying his stance on vaccines, but it’s still going to sideline him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets for the foreseeable future.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Irving, who has already been absent from his team’s pre-season activities, says he’s not opposed to the vaccine itself, but rather the broader implications of workplace mandates, with a source saying “Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless.”
“It’s a stance that Irving has explained to close teammates,” Charania’s report reads. “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.”
Previous reports indicated Irving would have been only eligible to play in road games, in accordance with New York City’s guidelines. Nets GM Sean Marks, however, confirmed on Wednesday (October 13) in a statement that their team’s star point guard will not be able to practice or play with the team until he is “eligible to be a full participant.”
"Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” the statement reads. "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 team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."
Wednesday’s announcement by the Nets puts the ball firmly in Irving’s court. Last week, Brooklyn’s practice facility was determined to be a private facility by the city, meaning Irving could practice with the team. However, Marks’ statement is now overruling any classification the city has made.