The Kyrie Irving controversy continues to make headline news within the NBA’s media circuit, as the former Boston Celtics star and current Brooklyn Nets centerpiece remains set in his ways in regard to refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Though initially many believed the point guard’s stance to be “anti-vaccine”, recently sources who reportedly have knowledge of his decision making told The Athletic’s Shams Charania that, in his mind, it’s more about standing up for those who are losing their jobs due to their refusal to be inoculated:
"his stance is that he is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. … To him this is about a grander fight than the one on the court and Irving is challenging a perceived control of society and peoples’ livelihoods.”"
Wednesday morning, First Take host Stephen A. Smith discussed these comments, and, when asked by co-host Molly Qerim Rose if their position on Irving change, he claimed it should, stating “it should be even worse than we originally imagined.”
"“I’ve been covering the NBA now for almost 25 years. This is some of the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever seen. Just flat-out stupid,” said Smith. “…so you don’t have a problem with taking the vaccine? Your position is you’re going to sit up there and compromise the championship aspirations of an organization you signed on the represent, you coaxed Kevin Durant into signing on to represent, you played the role of coaxing James Harden into signing on and representing, you’re going to compromise all that because you want to give voice to the voiceless?”"
Smith would later go on to state that he believes the former face of the Boston Celtics is actually rather intelligent and, in fact, has his heart in the right place, but believes that he “looks flat-out stupid” as he has “regressed to an alarming level of self-righteousness.”
Because of Irving’s decision to not get a vaccination, which has a documented efficacy rate of up to 95 percent at preventing a COVID-19 infection, he finds himself now barred from participating in any team activities.
With Brooklyn’s regular-season tip-off now less than a week away, the expectation is, at least to start the year, the 7x All-Star will be away from the team indefinitely until he receives a vaccination or some other solution comes about.