Kyrie Irving is now finally out, Michael Jordan praises the tough crackdown on vaccinators – basketball is only marginally a week before the start of the NBA. The debate about the syringe to protect against the virus continues to keep the league breathless. And Irving is right in the middle.
On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets, again a championship candidate for the coming season, even released their superstar from training and games. The unvaccinated 29-year-old would not have been able to play home games anyway because of the strict corona rules in New York, where only vaccinated sports halls are allowed to enter. Now the temporary complete exclusion followed.
“His individual right”
“Kyrie has a personal approach and we respect his individual right to make this decision,” said Brooklyn General Manager Sean Marks. “Currently, however, this decision limits his ability to be a full member of the team.” That is not all Irving is missing for the league opener on the night of Wednesday next week at Master Milwaukee Bucks, but for the time being also in all other games.
It is the next level of escalation in a conflict that has been smoldering for weeks. At the end of September, Irving had announced that he wanted to “keep his vaccination status private” and it sparked a big discussion. Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar even demanded that unvaccinated professionals should be “removed” from the team.
Air Jordan expressed himself a little more diplomatically and praised the league’s health protocol, which provides for wage cuts for professionals who miss games because they are not vaccinated. “I totally agree with the league,” Jordan told NBC on Monday: “I think everyone was talking about vaccinations. I firmly believe in science and I will stick to it. “
95 percent of the players are currently vaccinated, and only the function team is required to do so. Unvaccinated players like Irving can therefore continue to exist. Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors, for whom similarly strict requirements apply in San Francisco, did not want to have the vaccine injected for a long time and complained after the spades in the previous week that he had been “forced”. “I guess your body doesn’t belong to you,” he said.
“I am protected by God”
Irving remained stubborn – and has to face the consequences. It is quite possible that he will not appear for Brooklyn at all this season. Even before the total ban, he would have already missed 41 home games and the away games at the New York Knicks, Warriors and the Lakers and Clippers from Los Angeles in the regular season.
Using it only outside of New York was never an option for the Nets, who now fully rely on James Harden and Kevin Durant. “We’re not going to allow anyone on our team to be just a part-time member,” said Marks. Only when he has received at least one dose of vaccine is Irving allowed to play and train again.
Until then, the native Australian will lose 381,000 US dollars (around 330,000 euros) for every missed encounter, but he can hardly be expected to give in. Just last weekend Irving tweeted meaningfully: “I am protected by God and my people. We’re standing together. ”The only difference is that Kyrie Irving is no longer standing on the floor.