Kyrie Irving is once again making all the headlines for everything but his basketball skills. The Brooklyn Nets point guard won't play this season as he protests the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in New York, even though he claims not to be anti-vaccine.
The controversial star continued to stir the pot by trying to clearing the air on a rant on Instagram Live, addressing all the rumors and narratives around him, and reaching out to those who stand with him.
Irving talked about the rumors of his retirement, forfeiting over $16 million, not playing for the Nets, and how the media has dealt with the circus he -- and only he -- set just days before the start of the NBA season.
Kyrie Irving Fires At The Media, Says He Won't Retire, Explains His Stance On The Vaccine
Irving called out the media for the way they've talked about his personal choice not to be vaccinated despite believing in the vaccine. Once again, he called them puppets, not so long after saying they were pawns:
“These dudes read off scripts. They calling me unintelligent, all these different kinds of names. They’ll never say it to my face,” Irving started. “To continue to play with my name…without me speaking? These dudes are puppets! One thing I’m not gonna tolerate is standing around watching people do things around me that are very questionable."
Irving, who told Shams Charania of The Athletic that wants to be the voice of the voiceless, says that he doesn't want to take the vaccine because people are losing their jobs over these mandates.
“I’m standing with all those that believe what is right. Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves. Seeing the way this is dividing our world up, it’s sad to see. People are losing jobs to mandates,” the former first-overall pick said.
Kyrie said that he doesn't want to lose all that money, yet the Nets said that he'll forfeit all checks for the games he misses due to ineligibility. He said that the rumors of his retirement aren't true and that he doesn't want to give up on the game:
“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? You think I really just want to give up my job?” Irving said. “Nobody’s going to take the power away from me that I have for speaking on these things. Don’t believe that I’m retiring. Don’t believe that I’m going to give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated. Don’t believe any of that s–t, man," he concluded.
The people who now stand with Kyrie are the very same who told him to shut up and dribble when the NBA protested George Floyd's murder. The issue with him is not that he's making a personal choice, which is perfectly fine, but the fact that there's always a story with him.
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Is Kyrie worth the trouble?
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