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Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving did not attend the team’s media day due to health and safety protocols surrounding the coronavirus. He did however speak to reporters via Zoom, which he also broadcast on his own Instagram Live.
Obviously Irving was going to be asked about his vaccine status, but the star player did his best to avoid giving any concrete answers.
“I would like to keep all that private,” he said when asked if he’ll miss home games because of his vaccine status. “Please just respect my privacy.”
“I like to keep that stuff private,” Irving said when asked if he planned to get vaccinated. “Living in the public sphere, there’s a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie, but I’d like to keep that stuff private.”
“I’m a human being first...I would love to just keep that private and handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan,” Irving added. “Obviously, I’m not able to be present there today but that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team.”
Irving added that “everything will be released at a due date once we get this cleared up.”
Irving’s attempt to dance around the question has led many to believe that he is in fact not vaccinated. His comments arrive just two days after Rolling Stone published an explosive piece about vaccine hesitancy in the NBA.
While speaking with reporter Matt Sullivan, the Nets star’s aunt Tyki Irving suggested his refusal to receive the vaccine has nothing to do with religious reasons—like Andrew Wiggins tried to claim—but are instead “moral-based.”
“He is going to try to figure that out as it comes, because it’s not religious-based, it’s moral-based,” Tyki said. “You may have to sit on the sideline, you might not have to be in the arena during this. If it’s that freaking important to get a vaccine that, hell, it’s still not preventing the Covid” — which it is — “then I’d rather them working it out that way than to say, ‘Hey, if you don’t get the vaccine, then you can’t be a part of the franchise that you f*ckin’ helped build.’”
Irving’s vaccine status has become a hot topic on NBA Twitter and beyond, so naturally, there were a ton of reactions to his presser today.