Kyrie Irving: Brooklyn Nets star won’t reconsider vaccine stance | NBA News

Kyrie Irving has made it clear that he will not reconsider his stance on getting vaccinated against Covid-19, despite an injury to Brooklyn Nets team-mate Kevin Durant.

Irving is unvaccinated and therefore currently ineligible to play in home games because of Covid-19 mandates in New York City.

The 29-year-old Irving, speaking in the wake of a knee injury to Durant that will rule him out for six weeks, said nothing will change his mind. “That’s my decision already, and I’m standing on it,” he said.

Irving scored a team-high 27 points in Brooklyn’s 114-107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. It was just his fourth game of the season for the Nets, who are struggling to deliver on the hype that came their way when landing the star trio of Irving, Durant and James Harden for this season.

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Highlights of the Brooklyn Nets’ clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Week 14 of the NBA.

In his strongest comments on the sensitive subject, Irving added: “That’s what I think comes into a lot of this culture and basketball and sport and entertainment.

“You bring in teams and you bring in situations. Kev’s going to heal. Kev’s going to be OK, and we’re going to have to deal with that as his teammates.

“But in terms of where I am with my life outside of this, I stay rooted in my decision and that’s just what it is. It’s not going to be swayed just because of one thing in this NBA life that somehow it’s brought to my attention to being more important than what’s going on in the real world.

“It’s just not happening for me.”

During his post-game interview, Irving said he is bothered that his decision is being questioned and that it’s almost always framed in the context of his profession – not his personal life.

“I respect everyone else’s decision,” he said. “I’m not going to try to convince anyone of anything or anything like that. And though we’re dealing with this right now with Kev, I just know that I’m protected by the organisation. I’m protected by my teammates. I’m protected by all the doctors I’ve talked to and I’m just staying rooted.”

Irving has never shied away from speaking his mind on any subject, and that openness has often led to criticism, and in his view, being misunderstood.

Irving took offence at being asked if there was anything that would make him reconsider the vaccine.

“I live my life the majority of the time when I’m away from this, so when I say I’m not getting vaccinated, I’m making a choice with my life and somehow it gets mixed into, ‘What about the basketball?′ Like no, bro,” he said.

“We live in a real world. It’s great to be able to do this. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I love being with my team-mates. I love playing on the Nets, but I’ve already been away enough time to think about this, to process it, to be able to make this decision, stand strong.

“Understand that people are going to agree and disagree. The circumstances that are at hand, I’m praying they get changed and we’re able to do things differently and that’s not just for me – that’s for all that are dealing with being unvaccinated and being fired from work on a day to day basis.

“It’s not just about me. That’s been my message the whole time.”

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