Irving will not change his position on the vaccine

CLEVELAND – The guard of the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving, made it clear Monday that his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine will not change in the wake of the knee injury of Kevin Durant, which is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks.

Irving is unvaccinated and therefore ineligible to play at home due to a local mandate that all professional athletes playing in public venues in New York City be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Nets originally decided before the regular season began that they would not include Irving as a part-time roster member, but changed course last month after an outbreak of COVID-19 decimated the team.

Irving said no injury or other circumstance would force him to change his mind, repeatedly emphasizing that he is “rooted” in his decision.

“That’s what I think goes into a lot of this culture, basketball, sports and entertainment,” Irving said after Brooklyn’s 114-107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. “You bring teams and situations. Kev is going to heal, Kev is going to be okay, and we’re going to have to deal with that as his teammates. But in terms of where I’m at with my life outside of this, I stand rooted in my decision. And that’s just what it is.”

“He’s not going to be influenced by just one thing in this NBA life. That it somehow comes to my attention as something more important than what happens in the real world. Again, I respect everyone else’s opinion. I’m protected by my teammates, I’m protected by all the doctors I’ve talked to.”

Irving scored a team-high 27 points on Monday. It was only his fourth game this season with the Nets, who have been dealing with injuries and other distractions since acquiring james harden to play with Irving and Durant.

During his postgame interview, Irving said it bothers him that his decision is second-guessed and that it’s almost always framed in the context of his profession, not his personal life.

“My message has always been that I respect what everyone else is doing with their bodies, I respect what everyone else is. I’m taking it one day at a time, that’s all.”


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Irving will not change his position on the vaccine