Kyrie Irving, after being barred by team, defends his decision not to get vaccinated.

Kyrie Irving, the N.B.A. star who has been indefinitely barred from practising or taking part in with the Brooklyn Nets due to his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine, spoke out publicly on Wednesday night time for the primary time for the reason that staff determined to maintain him off the court docket, saying his refusal was a matter of private freedom.

“You think I really want to lose money?” Irving, who is about to make about $40 million this season, mentioned on his Instagram feed in a meandering monologue that had incorrect medical info. More than 90 percent of gamers within the league are vaccinated, a proportion a lot greater than within the basic inhabitants of the United States.

“You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship?” Irving, 29, mentioned. “You think I really just want to give up my job? You think I really want to sit at home?”

On Tuesday, the Nets mentioned they’d barred Irving from taking part in till he turns into “eligible to be a full participant.” New York City requires most youngsters and adults to have at the least one vaccination shot to enter services reminiscent of sports activities arenas, and Irving has not practiced with the Nets in Brooklyn. Irving joined the Nets in 2019 as they constructed a staff of superstars that embody Kevin Durant and James Harden.

Irving requested that his decision to stay unvaccinated be revered and mentioned that he has no plans to retire. He couched his refusal to get vaccinated in his opposition to mandates, saying no person ought to be “forced” to do it.

Irving falsely claimed his decision to stay unvaccinated does not hurt different folks. The extremely contagious Delta variant has shortly unfold in areas with low vaccination rates. And hospitals in these areas have been overrun with unvaccinated sufferers, leaving few beds and employees members to deal with different sufferers.

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