Kyrie Irving Not Allowed to Play Basketball Until he Gets The Covid Vaccine


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Dylan Walsh, Staff Writer

One of basketball’s biggest stars has a big decision to make. Brooklyn Nets PG Kyrie Irving has been told that due to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, he will not be allowed to join the team when they play games in Barclays Center, the Nets’ home court. The team has decided to suspend him without pay in those games. He will also not be allowed to play in any other game, even in states without a vaccine mandate until he gets vaccinated. There is no NBA vaccine mandate so Kyrie isn’t violating any NBA but because of New York City’s vaccine mandates, he can’t be in indoor gatherings. NBA commissioner Adam Silver described it best b saying “It’s a problem between Kyrie and New York City, not the NBA.” 


Kyrie Irving is a big name in basketball and has been very vocal in other scientific conspiracy theories, saying in February of 2017 that he thought the Earth was flat. He later retracted this statement in October 2018. He has also liked Conspiracy theory posts on Instagram. He has become the face of the anti-vax movement in sports, as he is a really good player who isn’t afraid to speak out about what he feels.

Most people in the NBA community do not like Irving’s stance and have been pushing him to get the vaccine. NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been vocal in his disagreement with what Irving is doing, saying, “You don’t get the vaccine for yourself, you get it for other people…I think everybody should get vaccinated. I really am proud of the Nets for putting their foot down and saying we’re not going to deal with this half on, half off. The only thing that bugs me is he’s still going to make $17 million sitting at home.”


Radio Personality Howard Stern called Kyrie Irving the “top idiot in the country” and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writing in his column, “Let’s not pretend Irving is just an innocent martyr asserting his rights…Yes, he is making a stand and is willing to spend millions to do so. That kind of commitment may seem admirable until you realize how many people he influences (with 15.4 million Instagram followers) to do themselves and others harm by not getting vaccinated. The fact that he refuses is the only encouragement the uniformed need.”

It is safe to say that Irvings stance is very controversial. While he is completely in his legal right to not get vaccinated, it is something that has drawn ire across the national media. With the Nets losing their first game against the Milwaukee Bucks recently, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Irving to cave in and get the vaccine.