On Wednesday night, Kyrie Irving went on Instagram Live to address where he stands with the Brooklyn Nets. At this time, he’s unable to play at the Barclays Center due to his vaccination status.
During his rant on Instagram Live, Irving revealed that he is unvaccinated. He also mentioned that no one should be “forced” to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“What would you do if you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised that you have exemptions or that you didn’t have to be forced to get the vaccine? This wasn’t an issue before the season started,” Irving said. “This wasn’t something that I foresaw coming where I prepared for it and had a chance to strategize on what was going to be best for me and my family.”
Irving then addressed the rumors about him potentially retiring because of New York City’s vaccinate mandate, saying “Don’t believe that I’m going to give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated.”
Despite everything he had to say on Instagram live on Wednesday night, it sounds like the NBA world still doesn’t agree with Irving’s stance on this subject.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Fox Sports’ Nick Wright were just a few of the many people who fired back at Irving once his Instagram Live session ended.
I saw Kyrie’s Instagram Live and… pic.twitter.com/M1i0jcLW21
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 14, 2021
Watching the Kyrie Irving vid pic.twitter.com/19gKQfEYRI
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) October 14, 2021
A wildly disproportionate number of the verified accounts that are loudly supporting Kyrie have a MyPillow promo code in their Twitter bio.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) October 14, 2021
Kyrie’s IG live summed up pic.twitter.com/38PVdMjrfi
— SSID/Former Baby (@1017Van) October 14, 2021
Vaccination is a personal choice & Kyrie has a RIGHT to keep his status private.
Players, coaches, trainers, refs, announcers, security, ushers, media, vendors & people who wipe sweat, spit & blood off the floor have a RIGHT to not be endangered by Kyrie’s personal choice
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) October 14, 2021
The Nets recently said they’re respecting Irving’s decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, he won’t be allowed to participate with the team until he’s fully cleared for home games.
Time will tell if Irving chances his stance on this matter so he can rejoin his teammates in Brooklyn.