Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Kyrie Irving Refusing to get COVID-19 Vaccine Leads to Suspension Until he Does Receive it


An arena before an NBA Game

Johancy Reyes, Staff Writer

Even though he would be allowed to play away games as the covid vaccine mandate will not be enforced this season by the nba but teams and players will still have to follow local regulations related to vaccines. Although Irving could play away games, general manager of the Brooklyn Nets Sean Marks said Irving would not be allowed to play or practice with the team unless he gets the Covid-19 vaccine. He has a choice to make, and he made his choice,” Marks told reporters. “And my job here is to make what we deem is the best choices for the organization moving ahead and as a whole.” Due to his actions, Irving would forfeit 17 million dollars by not playing any of the home games for the Brooklyn nets and the two regular season games against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The team has said that they would love to have Irving back but “under a different set of circumstances.” His all star and future first ballot Hall of Fame teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden talked about the subject and said they both respect his decision.  “He’s a special player. We want him a part of this group,” said Durant.


This issue raises the question of freedom of choice and this is also something that students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School can relate too. I say this because if you want to play on a sports team for the school, you also need to have the Covid-19 vaccine. 


The interesting thing about this situation is that the problem is not about getting the vaccine for Irving, but it’s about being a “voice for the voiceless” and standing up for freedom of choice and people who have decided against the vaccine, in which he stated that it’s  “what feels good for me.” 


He also said during his Instagram live explaining his decision that he will not change his mind in terms of getting vaccinated. There were also some rumors about him retiring but he shot that down by saying “No, I’m not retiring and no I’m not going and leaving this game like this”. Republicans have come out in support of Kyrie Irving like senator Ted Cruz and when he stated “Kyrie is showing incredible courage,” also saying “If tyrannical politicians demand you take an injection, you have no medical privacy rights. You are a sheep & you must meekly comply.” 


He’s also had the backing of other athletes such as legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather, in a tweet, stated “Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine.  As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us.” 


As well as being backed up by award winning recording artist Chris Brown, he exclaimed, the real hero!!! I stand with my brother,” also adding “whoever don’t like it go live your damn life.. It’s his choice and a damn good one. Always in my brother’s corner.” 


So with all this talk about Irving’s refusal to get the vaccine, I wanted to get the opinion of the ERHS community, so I decided to ask some of the students of our school what their opinions on the matter was. I asked senior Christopher Williams first and asked him how he felt about Irving not getting the vaccine and his response was “I understand that Kyrie has his own opinions on the vaccine and its effects but I believe he would leave a major impact on the league if he doesn’t play. I respect his decision and choices regardless”. The next question for him was how he felt about Irving’s motivation and he exclaimed “I think that his movement could possibly stick with the NBA for a while. I feel that Kyrie is one of the few influential players that we have in the league. He doesn’t follow the norm of society, he chooses his own path.”

 The final question was if he thought all athletes should take the vaccine to play their sport and he stated “I think all players should take the vaccine but I believe if it interferes with the players personal or religious beliefs, they shouldn’t have to”. As of October 28, 2021 Irving has still refused to get vaccinated.