The Brooklyn Nets wouldn’t let Kyrie Irving participate in team activities until he gets vaccinated against COVID-19, the team revealed on Tuesday.
The team’s general manager, Sean Marks, released a statement that confirmed Irving’s status with the Nets amid a controversy indicating that he reportedly doesn’t want to willingly get the vaccine.
The statement also said that given the nature of this situation and after a thorough review, the Nets have decided that Irving will not participate in practice sessions and games with the team until he can be considered eligible as a “full participant.”
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability,” it went on to say.
The Nets had initially been preparing to start the season without the star player participating in home games because of New York City’s health mandates. Because of this, Irving was at risk of missing 41 games. He was also previously granted permission to go practice with the team at its New York facilities. However, the announcement the team made on Tuesday changed this, effectively banning him from practice and games until he gets the vaccine.
“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Marks went on to say. He added: “Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”
The NBA star has yet to confirm his vaccination status, but he requested some privacy regarding the matter from the media during the team’s media week.
Additionally, the NBA has revealed that players who won’t be able to play games due to local health mandates will not receive pay.