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Report: Kyrie Irving’s Vaccine Decision About ‘Grander Fight’ Against Mandates

Kyrie Irving's stance to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has not changed as of Tuesday night, but per The Athletic's Shams Charania, it's not because he's anti-vax or anti-science. 

The Nets guard reportedly is 'upset' about individuals losing their jobs because of vaccine mandates. Charania writes, "To him, this is about a grander fight than the one on the court and Irving is challenging a perceived control of society and people’s livelihood, according to sources with knowledge of Irving’s mindset."

“Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless,” a source told The Athletic

But, the nation's top doctors and scientists have held firm on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine as the Pfizer-BioNTech shot received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said in the announcement that, "While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product."

Per The Athletic, 96% of the league's players are vaccinated.

Earlier on Tuesday, Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said the team will not allow Irving to play or practice "until he is eligible to be a full participant." He's currently ineligible to play in Brooklyn home games in 2021–22 until he receives the COVID-19 vaccine even though New York officials deemed the HSS Training Center in Brooklyn a "private facility."

"We have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant," Marks said in a statement. "Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose.

"Currently his choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."

If Irving continues to hold out, he stands to lose $15.6 million alone from his 2021–22 paycheck if he missed all 41 home games.

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