For those who may be tardy to the party, the Brooklyn Nets have been without their star point guard Kyrie Irving up to this point in the season. Irving, who is a 7-time All-Star had originally been sidelined by the Nets until he received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccination. While it has not been mandated by the NBA the vaccination has been made a requirement by New York City to play basketball indoors. Although the Nets sit atop of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 22-9, the team announced last week that they have begun the process of reinstating Irving back onto the roster, thus allowing him to play road games with the team.
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Ex-Giant Likens Nets Kyrie Irving to Aaron Rodgers
Kyrie is not the only athlete to stand firm on his decision to not take the vaccine and still be allowed to play. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers faced a similar situation earlier this season. Two-time Super Bowl Champion linebacker Carl Banks believes that although the two star athletes play different sports, they are more comparable than people realize.
“I think for both of those players, the opinions of the fans are in a large part based on the drama that comes with those players. Kyrie Irving is a different guy. He operates to a different melody sometimes. His position is HIS position. The team’s position which I have no issue with either; when the owners say are you all in or all out… and we’re not going to split the difference here because he’s looking at this as a team sport,” Banks said to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports.
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Banks Details the Differences Between Rodgers & Kyrie
Rodgers’ situation however is vastly different than Kyrie in this sense. He pretty much led the media and the NFL to believe he was vaccinated against the Coronavirus when he wasn’t. When asked the question on his vaccination status this past August, the former NFL Most Valuable Player told reporters he was immunized, but never clarified what he was immunized against. When he tested positive for COVID-19 in November, he revealed that he was not vaccinated against the virus.
“Aaron Rodgers situation?… He got up and basically lied about his vaccination status by semantics and there’s always something with him,” Banks continued.
“Both guys are incredibly talented; I don’t know if Kyrie plays the victim card like, Woe is me; I know we’ve seen this a little bit with Aaron where Aaron gets upset when people criticize him. I think with Kyrie he doesn’t overtly show that he’s affected by criticism because he has the courage of his convictions. I think in Aaron Rodgers’ case he needs it to keep the chip on his shoulder, but he’s incredibly talented. But you know, their criticisms are based on the drama that surrounds them and a lot of it they create; some unintentionally and some intentionally.”
While the Nets have begun the process of bringing Irving back into the fold, he still has a ways to go before he can officially return to action. Although he will only be returning as a part-time player, getting Irving back in any capacity will only booster the Nets’ hopes of bringing a title to Brooklyn.