Although Kyrie Irving does not want to risk missing out on opportunities to compete with the Brooklyn Nets, or the loss of money that will be a result, the NBA star has said he will hold firm to not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
“I am doing what’s best for me,” Irving said on Instagram Live. “I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is. That’s the role I play. But I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.” He added that he would not be retiring from the sport.
However, Irving will not be present at any Nets home games. A mandate in the city of New York prevents unvaccinated professional athletes to train or play in public sports facilities. The Nets will continue to pay Irving for away games but he could lose up to half his salary (currently around $35 million). Irving said that while the loss is unwelcome, “it’s not always about the money, it’s about choosing what’s best for you.”
The All-Star player praised doctors and did not express an opinion against people seeking vaccinations, speaking only about making the decision for himself.