The All-Star shared his thoughts during an Instagram Live post on Wednesday. Irving stated he is neither for nor against the coronavirus vaccines and understands there are consequences regarding his decision.
“The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that,” Irving said in the video. “But it is reality that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice.”
Irving also extended his hope that he wants to play again in the NBA with his teammates.
“I am going to just continue to stay in shape, be ready to play, be ready to rock out with my teammates and just be part of this whole thing. This is not a political thing. This is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I am choosing to do,” he added.
The Brooklyn Nets said in a statement released on Tuesday that Irving would not play with the team until he receives a COVID-19 vaccination.
“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. Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement from the Nets on Tuesday.
“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,” he added.
He had previously expected to play in away games that allowed unvaccinated players in indoor arenas. Both New York and California currently restrict players from games without being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Athletes from New York City-based sports teams who play in an indoor arena are required to receive at least one dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine, even if the athletes themselves are not residents of New York City, according to the city’s executive order (pdf).
Last season, Irving was fined more than $1 million for unexplained absences related to COVID-19 protocols. Irving faces missing the entire season and perhaps ending his career following the latest decision by the Nets.
From The Epoch Times