Superstar anti-vaxxer's defiant message to critics

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Kyrie Irving said helium didn't privation to suffer wage oregon a accidental to vie for a title with the Brooklyn Nets, but was doing “what's champion for me” by refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Nets decided Tuesday that Irving wouldn't beryllium with the squad due to the fact that helium isn't eligible to play successful location games, wherever a New York mandate requires nonrecreational athletes connected 1 of the city's teams to beryllium vaccinated to signifier oregon play successful nationalist venues.

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Speaking connected Instagram Live, Irving said helium loved hoops and wasn't going to retire.

“I americium doing what’s champion for me. I cognize the consequences present and if it means that I’m judged and demonised for that, that’s conscionable what it is,” Irving said. “That’s the relation I play, but I ne'er wanted to springiness up my passion, my love, my imagination conscionable implicit this mandate.”

Irving would person been capable to signifier with the Nets and play successful roadworthy games extracurricular New York. The Nets volition wage him for those but helium is giving up astir fractional of his $35 cardinal wage by missing the location games.

“So what? It’s not astir the money,” Irving said. “It's not ever astir the money. It’s astir choosing what’s champion for you. You deliberation I truly privation to suffer money?”

Irving said helium supported radical who were and weren't vaccinated and expressed appreciation for doctors. The All-Star defender didn't springiness immoderate denotation that helium was against being vaccinated, conscionable that helium was deciding not to.

“Once again, I’m going to repetition this. This is not astir the Nets, this is not astir the organisation, it’s not astir the NBA, it’s not politics,” Irving said. "It’s not immoderate 1 thing.

“It’s conscionable astir the state of what I privation to do.”

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets cheers from the seat during a preseason game. (Getty)

Irving hasn't spoken to reporters since the Nets' media time connected Sept. 27, erstwhile helium appeared via Zoom and asked for privateness erstwhile questioned astir his vaccination status.

The Nets are title contenders and Irving said helium didn't privation to miss the accidental helium has with them. General manager Sean Marks said the squad would gladly invited Irving backmost nether the close circumstances, and Irving made wide helium was going to play again.

“No, I’m not retiring and nary I’m not going and leaving this crippled similar this,” Irving said. “There's inactive truthful overmuch much enactment to bash and determination inactive truthful galore different (youngsters) to inspire, due to the fact that I cognize they privation to beryllium amended than me.”

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