Kyrie Irving will not be allowed to play or practice with the Brooklyn Nets until he complies with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the team’s General Manager Sean Marks announced on Tuesday (Oct. 12).
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Marks said in a statement. “Kyrie has made a personal choice and we respect his individual right to choose.”
Marks said Irving’s refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has restricted “his ability to be a full-time member of the team” and said “we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
“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 continued. “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.”
As reported by REVOLT, Irving has been vocal about refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires individuals to receive at least one dose of the vaccine before entering indoor gyms, including Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, which means every Nets and New York Knicks player must be vaccinated to practice or play at home games.
However, the Nets’ decision means Irving also won’t be allowed to practice or play at away games, even in cities without vaccine mandates. According to The New York Post, Irving is the only Nets player who is unvaccinated.
Next week, the Nets will kick off their regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks. The NBA previously said players will not be paid for games they miss due to not following COVID-19 mandates.