Kyrie Irving, a superstar for the NBA, has officially come forth with the revelation that he can put a direct price on his choice to go against the COVID vaccine mandate, and it sit squarely north of nine figures.
A guard for the Brooklyn Nets, Irving claims that the choice ended up costing him a $100 million, four-year contract extension due to his refusal to get the jab when both the city where he plays and the NBA were applying severe pressure against the players to get vaccinated.
“I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated and that was the decision,” stated Irving as part of Nets media day this past Monday. “[Get this] contract, get vaccinated or be unvaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you’re going to be in this league, whether you’re going to be on this team, so I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision.”
Kyrie Irving says refusing to get the covid shot cost him $100 million. https://t.co/tQN0vflB3u
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 27, 2022
As a result of his choice, Irving was only able to take part in away games until very late into the season due to the vaccine mandate set in place within New York City. He ended up only playing for his option-year salary, but was made to forego any paychecks for home games while he was forced to sit on the bench. The 30-year-old all star stated that he wanted to reach a deal to stay with the team, but instead went into the season at odds with the management staff for the Nets.
“We were supposed to have all that figured out before training camp last year,” stated Irving. “And it just didn’t happen because of the status of me being vaccinated, unvaccinated. So, I understood their point and I just had to live with it. It was a tough pill to swallow, honestly.”
Irving was able to take part in just 29 out of the team’s total 82 games, but when he played he averaged an astounding 27.4 points per game. The team ended up sporting a record of 44-38 and qualified for the playoffs, but ended up being taken out in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
Sean Marks, the GM of the Nets, denied the asseration that the team was applying extreme stress to Irving.
“There’s no ultimatum being given here,” stated Marks. “Again, it goes back to you want people who are reliable, people who are here, and accountable. All of us: staff, players, coaches, you name it. It’s not giving somebody an ultimatum to get a vaccine. That’s a completely personal choice. I stand by Kyrie. I think if he wants, he’s made that choice. That’s his prerogative completely.”
Marks claimed that the real standoff was taking palce between the city and Irving. Earlier this past month, Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, officially announced that he is putting an end to thevaccine mandate against private employers but is going to keep one in place regarding all workers for the city. Irving went off on the mayor for his choice, labeling forced vaccinations a human rights violation.
“If I can work and be unvaccinated, then all of my brothers and sisters who are also unvaccinated should be able to do the same, without being discriminated against, vilified, or fired,” Irving stated via a social media post. “This enforced Vaccine/Pandemic is one the biggest violations of HUMAN RIGHTS in history.”