Kyrie Irving won't reconsider vaccine stance in wake of Kevin Durant's injury
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Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving made it clear that Kevin Durant's injury won't change his vaccine stance. Durant is set to be out for four-to-six weeks after sustaining an injury. An unvaccinated Irving is currently available only for road games.
"That's what I think comes into a lot of this culture and basketball and sport and entertainment,'' Irving said following Brooklyn's 114-107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, per ESPN. "You bring in teams and you bring in situations.
Kev's going to heal, Kev's going to be OK, and we're going to have to deal with that as his teammates. But in terms of where I am with my life outside of this, I stay rooted in my decision. And that's just what it is. "It's not going to be swayed just because of one thing in this NBA life.
That somehow it's brought to my attention as being more important than what's going on in the real world. It's just not happening for me. Again, I respect everyone else's decision, I'm not going to ever try to convince anyone of anything or any of that, I'm just standing rooted in what I believe in.
And though we're dealing with this right now with Kev, I just know that I'm protected by the organization, I'm protected by my teammates, I'm protected by all the doctors I've talked to. And I just stand rooted."
Irving wants to only talk about basketball, not vaccination
"That's what I'm saying," Irving said.
"You're bringing my vaccination status into a basketball game, and I live my life, the majority of the time, when I'm away from this. So when I say I'm not getting vaccinated and I'm making a choice with my life, somehow it gets mixed into, 'Well, what about the basketball?' When it's like no, bro.
We live in a real world. It's great to be able to do this. I'm grateful for the opportunity. I love being with my teammates. I love playing on the Nets, but I've already been away enough time to think about this, to process it, to be able to make this decision, stand strong, understand that people are gonna agree and some people are gonna disagree.
"The circumstances that are at hand, I'm praying that they get changed and we're able to do things differently and that's not just for me -- that's for all those that are dealing with being unvaccinated and getting fired from work on a day-to-day basis.
It's not just about me. That's been my message this whole time. So though I feel your feeling and emotion for asking that question, it's just like, sometimes it feels a little disrespectful. I'm not just a basketball player, bro. Millions of fans. I appreciate all of it, but it's not just about the game."