Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding his COVID-19 vaccination status and playing in front of the home crowd in New York City while appearing virtually during the team's media day on Monday.
When asked about his vaccination status, Irving said it was a personal matter.
“I like to keep that stuff private,” Irving said. “I’m a human being first...I would love to just keep that private and handle it the right way with my team and go forward with a plan."
Before availability, it was reported that Irving would not be at the Barclays Center for the media availability due to health and safety protocols, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania and ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe. Irving spoke to media from a different location, and when he was asked if the reason he wasn't with the rest of his team was due to his vaccination status, he refused to answer, saying it was a private matter.
When asked about whether or not he was excited about playing in front of the home crowd, he did not give a direct answer.
New York and San Francisco are the only two cities that have required pro athletes to show proof of one COVID-19 vaccination dose to play indoors, except with an approved medical or religious exemption. If Irving is not vaccinated, he would not be able to play in his own home arena.
"Again, I would like to keep all that private," Irving said. "Please respect my privacy regarding home games, what's going on with my vaccination."
Irving went on to say that everything will be released "at a due date, when everything is cleared up." Irving was at the center of a Rolling Stone piece published Saturday that detailed the NBA clashing with players who are against getting the vaccine.
The report details Irving's distrust of the vaccine and notes that he has liked Instagram posts and follows an account that claims "secret societies" are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan."
Despite not being able to attend media day, Irving is expected to accompany the team to training camp in San Diego, per ESPN.
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