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The American Professional Basketball League, the NBA, is pushing its players by all means to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Recalcitrant; Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has just been suspended by his club pending compliance with the injunction.
The life of vaccino-skeptics is complicated the NBA and Kyrie Irving is paying for it. Pushed to get vaccinated, and thus be allowed to play at home, the Brooklyn basketball player found himself sidelined by his club, Tuesday, October 12. He is no longer allowed to train or play until hehave not consented to receiving the injections against Covid-19.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard has been on the hot seat since New York City introduced new health safety protocols preventing unvaccinated adults from taking part in practices or games.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice and we respect” this choice, said in a statement Sean Marks, the club’s general manager, who warns, however: “We will not allow any member of our team to be available only partially.”
“Our goal to be crowned champions this season remains unchanged and to accomplish it, each member (…) must push in the same direction,” summarizes Sean Marks.
In the NBA, 5% of recalcitrants
The announcement represents the culmination of the dispute between the NBA and the approximately 5% of players refusing Covid-19 immunization.
It comes as the city hall of New York had however decided, Friday, to allow Irving to train in the facilities of the franchise, considered private and not public.
The League, which initially considered making vaccination mandatory, finally gave up in the face of the refusal of the players’ union (NBPA) at a meeting held in August.
Since then, the American basketball authorities have used other means, including an extremely strict health protocol for the unvaccinated (daily tests, solitary meals, outings and very limited interactions), which are gradually being convinced.
A protocol approved by Michael Jordan himself.
“Are you concerned with the NBA’s COVID protocols?”
Michael Jordan – “Not at all. I am total in unison with the league. I’m a firm believer in science & I’m going to stick with that.”
– ClutchPoints (@clutchpointsapp) October 12, 2021
“I am in unison with the League. Everyone gave their opinion about vaccines. I firmly believe in science,” he said during an interview on the American channel NBC. “I’ll stick to that, and I hope everyone follows the rules”.
Wiggins and LeBron James caved in
Andrew Wiggins, vaccine-recalcitrant winger of the San Francisco-based franchise Golden State Warriors, which has implemented restrictions similar to those in New York, has finally been vaccinated, his club announced in early October.
The Lakers superstar LeBron James, a time “very skeptical”, also received its doses, refusing however to call for vaccination. “I don’t think I should meddle in what people do for their bodies,” he launched at the end of September.
Calls for mandatory vaccinations, however, are pouring in, such as the one expressed vehemently by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who believes that “a player should absolutely submit to it or he should be removed from the team”.
Complicated start of the season in sight?
Advice taken at the Brooklyn Nets. At the risk of missing Kyrie Irving for the start of the NBA season, which opens with a clash between his team Milwaukee Bucks, defending champions, if he does not regularize his situation by then. The club will still be able to count on its two other stars, James Harden and Kevin Durant.
And if Irving persists, he will miss the whole season, as well as millions of dollars in salary – the trifle of $ 380,000 per game, according to the sports channel ESPN.
Nets General manager Sean Marks, however, clarified Tuesday at a press conference following the announcement that only Kyrie Irving’s income from home games would be withheld by the club. Away matches will be well paid for him.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard, who had not officially reacted Tuesday, said at the end of September he wanted to avoid “creating more distractions and more chaos” for his team.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Kyrie Irving had shared posts, on social media, of a conspiracy theorist claiming that “secret societies are implanting the vaccine to connect black people to a big computer as part of a plan by Satan”.
The one who refuses to confirm his vaccination status, which he wants to keep “in the private sphere”, split, Saturday, with a tweet: “I am protected by God and my loved ones are also protected. We are together.”A protection that the Nets apparently deemed insufficient.