Kyrie Irving finally broke his silence on his situation, going on Instagram Live just after 11 p.m. Wednesday night for a 20-minute session where he explained why he is against the NYC mandate for NBA players in town to be vaccinated to play.
“I’m a human being. I have emotions, I have feelings, I have thoughts, things that I keep to myself, things that I share, but I’m staying grounded in what I believe in. It’s just as simple as that. It’s not about being anti-vax or about being on one side or the other, it’s just really about being true to what feels good for me,” Irving said towards the beginning of the session. “I’m still uncertain about a lot of things, and that’s okay. If I’m going to be demonized for having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, then that’s just what it is. That’s something I’ve got to sit in. I know the consequences of the decisions I make with my life. I’m not here to sugarcoat any of that.”
In addition, Kyrie noted he doesn’t plan to retire, but did say he expected to be able to get an exemption before the NBA shot down Andrew Wiggins’ request.
“What would you do if you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised that you would have exemptions or that you didn’t have to be forced to get the vaccine?” Irving asked. “This wasn’t an issue before the season started. This wasn’t something that I saw coming where I prepared for it and I had a chance to strategize on what would be best for me and my family. I came into the season thinking that I would just be able to play ball, be able to use my talent to continue to inspire, influence people in the right way.”
Kyrie acknowledged that he’s okay losing $380,000 for each home game he misses:
“It’s not always about the money, it’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship?” he asked.
But, to that, he said staying true to himself is more important:
“I’m always going to stay true to me, and that’s me. This is my life. I get to do whatever I want with this,” Irving said. “This is one body that I get here, one God body that I get here, and you’re telling me what to do with my body. And it has nothing to do with the organization. I’m gonna put that out there. It has nothing to do with the Nets, it has nothing to do with my teammates. This has everything to do with what’s going on in our world, and I’m being grouped into something that’s bigger than just the game of basketball. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is, that’s the role I play.”
You can watch the whole IG Live on YouTube thanks to Celebrity Instagram Stories:
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