Kyrie Irving: Brooklyn Nets goalie says his choice to refuse coronavirus vaccination must be respected | NBA News

Brooklyn Nets goalie Kyrie Irving says he understands the professional and financial implications of his decision not to get the Covid-19 shot and is ready to stand up for what he believes in.

The Nets said earlier this week they were benching Irving because his lack of vaccination means he can’t train or play in New York, and they’re not ready to put the team in a situation where he is a part-time road player.

Irving addressed the situation on Wednesday night speaking on Instagram Live. It was his first public comment since September 27, when he spoke to reporters via video conference.

“The financial consequences, I know I don’t even want to do that,” said Irving, 29. “But it’s true that to be in New York, to be part of a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose not to be vaccinated, and it was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect this choice.

Irving says he won’t retire from basketball

“I’m just going to continue to stay in shape, be ready to play, be ready to play with my teammates and be a part of it all. It’s not a political thing; it’s not about the NBA, not from any organization. It’s about my life and what I choose to do. “

When, or if, he will have the chance to play this season is pending. But Irving, who won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, said he’s not giving up on his dream of winning another championship in Brooklyn with superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden.

And he said he would not retire. If he does not play this season he could lose more than $ 17million (£ 12.4million) in compensation from the games allegedly played in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden.

“Do you really think I want to lose money? Do you think I really want to give up my dream of chasing a championship? Do you think I really just want to give up my job? You think I really want to stay home and not pursuing things with my teammates that I was able to grow up with, learn with, learn that it takes sacrifice in this space, ”said Irving.“… You think I want to give up my livelihood to because of a mandate, because I have no accommodation, because I have not been vaccinated? Go on.”

Kevin Durant (center), Kyrie Irving (right) and James Harden look to bring a championship to Brooklyn (AP)
Irving is part of a Nets team that includes fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and James Harden

Irving said he was neither pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine. He stressed that he was not angry with the Nets or the NBA and did not condemn those who made the decision to get the shot.

“You have to make these beliefs yourself,” he said. “‘Yo, you’re gonna lose money; you’re gonna lose this.’ So what. It’s not about the money, baby. It’s about choosing what’s best for you. “

He continued, “I stay grounded in what I believe in. It’s that simple. It’s not about being anti-vax or being on one side or the other. It’s not about being anti-vax or being on one side or the other. it’s just about being true to what feels good for me … if I’m going to be demonized for having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, that’s exactly what it is … I know the consequences of the decisions I make with my life. I’m not here to wrap it all up. “

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