New York City mayor Bill de Blasio made a public statement on Wednesday urging Nets star Kyrie Irving to receive the COVID-19 vaccinated.
"I’m a fan of Kyrie," the mayor said on CNN. "I would just appeal to him—get vaccinated.
“Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back. Look, there are teams now that are 100% vaccinated. That’s a great example to everybody else.”
While de Blasio wants to see Irving on the court, the seven-time NBA All-Star declined to comment on his vaccination status on Monday during the Nets Media Day via Zoom saying that he wants to "keep that stuff private."
Irving did not attend Brooklyn's media day in person due to New York City's health and safety protocols. In addition, Irving's status to play in home games is uncertain as the city is requiring players to have proof of vaccination to enter large indoor events, including basketball games unless a player obtains an exemption of some kind.
"Living in this public sphere, there's a lot of questions about what's going on in the world of Kyrie, and I would love to just keep that private and handle that the right way with my team and go forward with a plan," Irving said, via Zoom on Monday.
Irving plans to join the team for training camp in San Diego per ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst. Although his vaccination status has not been officially confirmed, FOX Sports' Yaron Weitzman reported last week that Irving was unvaccinated.
A story from Rolling Stone over the weekend noted Irving's distrust of the coronavirus vaccine. The article noted that the Nets guard began to like Instagram posts and follow 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."
While Irving has stood on the decision to not be vaccinated, de Blasio has faith that Irving may change his decision and has not let his fans down.
"We have weeks and weeks before the season begins,” the mayor said. “I think his fans are going to say to him, ‘C’mon, join us, help us, let’s keep everyone safe—keep your own family safe, keep your teammates safe, keep your community safe.”
The Nets open preseason play on Oct. 3 against the Lakers.
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