Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving has acknowledged that he is aware of the consequences his decision not to get vaccinated could have but he is sticking to his beliefs. New York City mandates all individuals who are attending indoor events to be vaccinated.
The Nets didn't want to have Irving only for away games so they sent him home until he decided to take the jab. "The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that," Irving said on Instagram Live.
"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. "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."
Irving not worried about losing money
"You got to make these convictions yourself," said Irving, who had not spoken publicly since Sept.
27, when he had to talk to reporters via videoconference call because he couldn't join his teammates for media day due to New York City's mandate. "'Yo, you are going to lose out on money; you are going to lose out on this.'
So what. It is not about the money, baby. It is about choosing what is best for you. "You really think I want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job? Think I really just want to sit at home and not go after the things with my teammates that I have been able to grow with, to learn with, to learn that it takes sacrifice in this space.
... You think I want to give up my livelihood because of a mandate, because I don't have accommodations, because I am unvaccinated? Come on." Irving once again made it clear that he doesn't want to get forced into taking the jab.
"This is my life," Irving said. "I get to do whatever I want with this, this is one body that I get here. And you are telling me what to do with my body. ... This has everything to do with what is going on in our world. And I am being grouped into something that is bigger than just the game of basketball."