In case you didn’t know, Irving is apparently among a growing list of anti-vaxxer celebrities—including a number of other NBA players—and God knows how many citizens who refuse the shot even if it means putting their jobs on the line.
On Tuesday, Nets general manager Sean Marks announced that Irving will not play or practice with the team until he gets vaccinated per New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate requiring people, including players, to have proof of receiving at least one shot before they can enter indoor gyms.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Marks said in a statement, according to ESPN. “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. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”
The team will still have Kevin Durant and James Harden on the court, so it’s not like the Nets aren’t contenders for the championship without Irving, but damn, imagine having your team’s superstar trifecta cut down to two all because a certain stubborn point guard, who happens to be one of the league’s top scorers, refuses to trust science.
Of course, the Nets are “prevented by law from revealing whether Irving has been vaccinated,” according to ESPN, but when asked flat out by a reporter if he was vaccinated, Marks replied, “If he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I think that’s pretty clear.”
Marks also mentioned that the only salary Irving will lose will be for home games.
In other words, don’t be out here thinking that just because Irving can refuse his employer’s mandate and still be OK professionally and financially that you can do the same.
Just get the shot, guys. You might be saving lives and you’ll definitely be saving yourself some grief.