Nets star Kyrie Irving has received a lot of heat over the past few weeks. The 7x All-Star, who averaged 26.9 points per game last season, is refusing to get the vaccine, which has compromised his availability to start the season.
And while it was initially thought that Kyrie was an anti-vaxxer, reports are proving that his thinking is actually something else.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of Irving’s decision have told The Athletic that Irving is not anti-vaccine and that his stance is that he is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. It’s a stance that Irving has explained to close teammates. To him, this is about a grander fight than the one on the court and Irving is challenging a perceived control of society and people’s livelihood, according to sources with knowledge of Irving’s mindset. It is a decision that he believes he is capable to make given his current life dynamics. “Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless,” one source said.
So, Kyrie's mission is not to fight against the vaccine. Despite whatever messages he may have shared about "secret societies" before, he's only refusing the vaccine because of the mandates surrounding it.
All over the world, governments and businesses are putting tons of pressure on the public to get the shot, to the point where some even risk losing their jobs.
Irving is trying to fight against that narrative and "stick up" for those who might not be able to stick up for themselves.
It's an admirable mission but flawed from the start. Instead of spreading the message he intends to, his actions have only caused drama for his team (the Nets) and stirred outrage from the public. By not getting the vaccine, he has disqualified himself from doing the very job that has given him such a big platform, to begin with.
Perhaps there was a better way for him to make his point? Regardless, he doesn't seem likely to back down any time soon, so this circus may continue well into the season.