Kyrie Irving Not Happy with Stigma Surrounding His Vaccination Status: ‘Gave Up ‘100-and-Something Million’

Kyrie Irving continues to make headlines.

The Brooklyn Nets star guard missed a bunch of games over the last season due to his decision to to stay unvaccinated, now he’s opening up about how he is upset that it’s now become a stigma against his career. Irving discussed how it was a “tough pill to swallow” that he and the franchise couldn’t reach an extension agreement. Irving continued by saying, “[I] didn’t appreciate how me being unvaccinated all of a sudden came to be a stigma within my career that I don’t want to play.”

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Irving said that while he understood where the organization was coming from after the season, he was frustrated by the fact that his decision not to get vaccinated “came to be a stigma within my career.”

“I understood all the Nets’ points,” Irving said via ESPN. “And I respected it and I honored it, and I didn’t appreciate how me being vaccinated, all of a sudden, came to be a stigma within my career that I don’t want to play, or I’m willing to give up everything to be a voice for the voiceless. And which I will stand on here and say that, that wasn’t the only intent that I had, was to be the voice of the voiceless, it was to stand on something that was going to be bigger than myself.

“And I was going to understand probably far into the future … there was a level of uncertainty of what this was going to look like of me coming back. And I had questions, they were answered truthfully. And that’s all I needed. And now it’s just having the support around me and giving the support to my teammates.”

Kyrie also talked about what it was like to see his friend, Kevin Durant, request a trade from the organization. “You’re watching your best friend go through now the other side of the media storm that comes with this trade request, and being in the middle was kind of like a [expletive],” said Irving.

Irving claims that he, “gave up four years, 100-something million, deciding to be unvaccinated.”

“I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated and that was the decision,” Irving said during Nets media day on 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.”

Irving said he was hopeful that he would have the contract terms set prior to last season.

“We were supposed to have all that figured out before training camp last year,” Irving said. “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.”

Kyrie has no to blame but himself for not getting his extension. He needs to get back to being in the news for what he does on the court, not for the unhinged things he continues to say.


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