Kyrie Irving plays point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, but a decision he made hit his pocketbook pretty hard.
Irving has been outspoken about his decision regarding choosing not to take the COVID vaccine.
New York implemented COVID vaccine mandate policies that were stricter than many other states. Some of the mandates include barring those who were not vaccinated from entering certain locations, including the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This was removed as of March 7 of this year, according to the Barclays Center website.
This is a part of what has caused some of the complications for Irving.
New York’s mandates prevented Irving from playing in home games last season due to his unvaccinated status. Therefore, Irving would only receive a paycheck for away games.
“I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated, and that was the decision,” Irving said on Monday during the 2022 Brooklyn Media Day.
“It was contract,” he continued.
“Get vaccinated, or be unvaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you’re going to be in this league, whether you’re going to be on this team.
“So I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision. So I was dealing with all those emotions while trying to secure my future for my family,” Irving said.
Irving said that the complication of locations in connection to his pay was supposed to be resolved before training camp last year, according to The Epoch Times.
“And it just didn’t happen because of the status of me being vaccinated, unvaccinated,” he said.
“So, I understood their point and I just had to live with it,” Irving continued. “It was a tough pill to swallow, honestly.
“I didn’t appreciate how me being unvaccinated came to be a stigma within my career that I don’t want to play, or that I’m willing to give up everything to be a voice for the voiceless.”
Nets General Manager Sean Marks had a different perspective, denying that an ultimatum had been given, according to ESPN.
“Again, it goes back to you want people who are reliable, people who are here, and accountable. All of us: staff, players, coaches, you name it. It’s not giving somebody an ultimatum to get a vaccine,” Marks stated.
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