How Kyrie Irving’s Refusal of Getting Vaccinated is Impacting the NBA and its Fanbase


Evan Kerzner

Basketball Hoop: With Irving not being able to practice with the Nets at the practice facility, Irving is going to have to find other ways to practice basketball like at his house or at a local gym.

Evan Kerzner, Staff Writer

     For the past month, Kyrie Irving, the point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, has been the major controversy of the NBA. With the Nets Organization requiring vaccination in their home arena, this meant Irving could only play in half of the games. However, the Nets Organization changed their stance, stating that Irving has to be vaccinated in order to play at all. His refusal has sparked an outrage throughout the NBA and its fanbase.

     According to an ESPN article, “Kyrie Irving said Wednesday night he still hopes to return and play for the Brooklyn Nets but that ‘this is about my life and what I am choosing to do’, as he explained his decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Irving, speaking on Instagram Live, said he is neither pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine and that he fully understands the ramifications of his decision.”

     There have been a lot of mixed emotions with his decision. Before the Nets’ first home game, fans were standing outside the Barclay’s Center holding signs that said “Let Kyrie play,” and “Stand with Kyrie,” according to CNN news.

     While some people support Irving’s side, others don’t. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith criticized Irving about his explanation for him not getting the vaccine.

     Connecticut fans also have some mixed feelings about Kyrie Irving’s decision and its impact on the Nets organization.

     Joseph Morelli, a sports writer with the New Haven Register, states, “My feeling on Kyrie Irving is that it is his right to do as he chooses. It is also the right of the Brooklyn Nets to sideline Irving until he gets vaccinated.”

     Morelli continues, “I think it is almost as if Irving is out for an extended period, or the season with an injury. If you remember, the Nets hardly played any games with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden all on the floor at the same time last season due to injury. I think not having Irving will hamper the Nets’ chances at winning an NBA championship. If this does go into 2022, they probably will have to make a trade or two.”

     Andrew Richetelli, a junior at Foran High School, says, “ While I respect Kyrie for having his own formulated opinions about the vaccine, he needs to understand that if he wants to continue to have a healthy relationship with his teammates, he needs to start acting like he wants to play the game of basketball.”