Nets’ Kyrie Irving Gets Good News with Vaccine Policy Change

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates his dunk in the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Nets were without their star point guard Kyrie Irving for over 50 games last season due to the league’s and eventually New York’s vaccine mandate. Irving made the decision last season to not get vaccinated to “be a voice for the voiceless.” That kept him out of games and he only played 29 games in the Nets’ regular season last season. Eventually, in March, New York City dropped the private sector vaccine mandate that prevented Kyrie from playing home games while unvaccinated. Now, the Nets star is speaking out about how it is unfair he gets to play in games but other Americans are kept out of work for choosing not to get vaccinated. 

“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 said via his Twitter account on September 20.

He went on to call the vaccine decision one of the greatest human rights violations ever. 

“This enforced Vaccine/Pandemic is one the biggest violations of HUMAN RIGHTS in history.”

Canada to Lift its Vaccine Mandate

Irving using his platform to call criticize the vaccine mandates and whether it is or isn’t a human rights violation, was met with some pushback by fans. While the mandates kept him out of home games last season, it also kept him out of games in Toronto with their vaccine mandate for travel. 

The Canadian government is set to drop a vaccine requirement at the border that has kept unvaccinated athletes from being able to play across the country. The ban should be lifted by the end of September, allowing people to enter the country without a vaccination. The mandate changes have yet to be finalized by the cabinet, but it seems likely that all athletes will be able to compete in Canada without a vaccination.

The decision to drop the mandate will allow Irving not to be left out of any games this season due to his decision not to be vaccinated. News that is good for the Nets after the whirlwind season last year. Not only will Kyrie Irving be back for the full season, but Joe Harris is also expected to be back, and Ben Simmons should be recovered from injury as well. 

Kyrie Irving Expected to Have Break Out Season

Despite Irving being known as a generational talent, he was able to test the free agent market and had little interest in him on the open market. This puts Irving in a contract year after electing to opt-in to the final year of his contract with the Nets. Because of that, analysts like Stephen A. Smith have predicted the Nets’ point guard to play at an MVP-caliber level this upcoming season. 

“I got Kyrie Irving as one of my top league MVP candidates. Everybody better brace themselves… This brother is gonna put on a show!” said Smith. 

Irving also lost his Nike contract this season and has a lot to prove to help increase his stock heading into a free agent offseason and with no mandates holding him back could have an exceptional season in Brooklyn. 

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