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Brooklyn Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving Until He Receives COVID-19 Jab


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First, it was Southwest Airlines and Jacksonville air traffic controllers, now it’s NBA star Kyrie Irving.

The Brooklyn Nets guard remains the most high-profile NBA player to refuse the experimental COVID-19 jab.

Due to New York City’s COVID-19 injection mandate, Irving isn’t allowed to enter the Nets’ arena or practice facilities.

Thus, Irving isn’t allowed to play at least half of the games this upcoming season.

To increase the pressure on their star, the Brooklyn Nets organization suspended Irving until he capitulates to taking the jab.

Irving received a wave of support to respect his freedom of medical choice.

In recent weeks, several NBA players voiced their concerns about the COVID-19 jab.

Irving’s refusal to receive the jab has remained the focal point in the league.

The question that remains is will Irving stand his ground or give into the pressure?

And will his teammates support him?

From ESPN:

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that Kyrie Irving’s decision to not comply with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate left the organization with “no choice” but to send him away from the team until he’s able to fully participate.

“Ultimately, yes,” Marks said during a hastily scheduled virtual news conference Tuesday afternoon discussing the team’s decision. “He has a choice to make, and he made his choice.

“Again, my job here is to make what we deem as the best decision and best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. They’re not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and a thumbs-up. These are hard decisions. Just like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie either to have to make that [decision] to not be around his teammates.”

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Nets released a statement from Marks stating that the team had decided Irving was not going to have “part-time availability” and that he would be welcomed back once he complied with New York City’s mandate.

The vaccine mandate, which went into effect last month, states that anyone entering an indoor gym — including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, the homes of the Nets and New York Knicks — must have had at least one COVID-19 shot.

As a result, Irving was unable to play in 43 regular-season games — 41 at Barclays Center, plus two at MSG — and another two preseason games in Brooklyn. Marks confirmed Irving would only lose money for those games, roughly $380,000 per game.

The Hill weighed in:

The seven-time All-Star has recently become the face of anti-vaccine sentiment among the NBA. Due to his unvaccinated status, Irving was also unable to attend the Nets’s media day in-person, speaking to reporters via Zoom instead.

“Obviously I’m not able to be present there today,” Irving said. “But that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits in the future on my being able to join the team.”

The NBA has confirmed that salaries will be withheld from players who are unable to play due to their unvaccinated status being against local ordinances. Irving is at risk of losing half of his $34 million salary for Brooklyn home games.

Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters on Sunday that the team did not expect Irving to play in the home games at Barclay Center.

“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games,” Nash said, according to USA Today. “We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much.”

As a basketball fan, I believe this is possibly a monumental opportunity in the fight against tyrannical COVID-19 injection mandates.

Irving and his teammates have the potential to make a major statement.

If Irving holds the line and his teammates walk out to support him, it could add extra momentum for other industries to do the same.



 

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