Floyd Mayweather supports Kyrie Irving for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccine

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By , Audacy Sports

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather has chimed in on Nets star Kyrie Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated, which prompted his absence from the team.

Irving's stance has put him at odds with New York City's mandate and with the Brooklyn Nets, who would not let the star guard be a part of the team as a half-participant — only being allowed to play in cities where there is no such mandate.

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In a video Mayweather posted to Twitter on Monday, he said that he respects Irving for "having some integrity and being his own man."

The legendary boxer believes Irving is making a brave stand and won't "be controlled by money."

America is the land of the free,” Mayweather said in a video posted to Twitter. “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and, supposedly, freedom to choose. Never be controlled by money. I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes his own choices. An enslaved mind follows the crowd.”

Mayweather continues, calling Irving a leader and how he hopes his actions will encourage others to speak up.

“Stand for something or fall for anything. One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right. One choice, one word, one action can change the world. It’s crazy how people hate you for being a leader. I hope your actions encourage many others to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ Respect to you, Kyrie, and power to the people.”

The comments marked Mayweather’s first time addressing his stance on the COVID-19 vaccines and mandates. While he didn't say he was against the vaccines, he made it very clear with his support of Irving.

Irving originally was allowed permission to practice with the team, despite the city's mandate, but the Nets took a strong stance against Irving playing part-time.

General manager Sean Marks issued a statement earlier this month announcing that Irving wouldn’t be allowed to participate in any team activities until he was full vaccinated, in compliance with the city's vaccine mandate.

Days later, Irving finally broke his silence on Instagram Live to say he understands what he is doing and the consequences that he will face because of his stance.

"I am doing what’s best for me. 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, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate."

Kevin Durant was questioned on whether Irving's absence affects their team's outlook after Sunday’s loss against the Charlotte Hornets.

"No one is going to lose confidence while we're playing and hope Kyrie comes to save us during the game," Durant said. "No, we got to play. Everybody here is confident in what they do. We just got to play."

The Nets improved to 2-2 with a win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night, but with the way James Harden has been struggling early on this season, they definitely could use someone like Kyrie to take the load off KD and Harden.

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