Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving may be sidelined for some, or most of, the upcoming NBA season. But it’s not due to an injury.
Last month, New York announced COVID-19 vaccination requirements, which includes making it mandatory for people 12 years old and older to show proof of receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to enter several indoor space. This includes professional sports arenas.
Because of this, Irving — who has publicly stated he will keep his vaccination status private — is not eligible to practice with his team in New York or play during home games with the Nets.
Today, the team’s GM, Sean Marks, issued a statement today regarding Irving.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” the statement read. “Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the 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.”
The statement continued, “It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”
On Oct. 5, ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks tweeted how much Irving stands to lose with every missed home game. According to Marks, the baller would lose $381,181 for every missed home game. including two games in New York against the Knicks, Marks said Irving could lose $15.6 million.
Here is what Kyrie Irving stands to lose financially:
$381,181 for every missed home game
💰2 preseason games: $762K
💰41 home games: $15.6M
💰2 games at NYK: $762K
Irving is also extension eligible: 4 years/$187M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 6, 2021
News of his team’s decision comes a week after Nike, the brand that backs Irving and produces the baller’s signature sneaker line, revealed to FN via statement that it will require office-based U.S. employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In the statement, Nike said it would require all U.S. office-based employees to get the vaccine in order to support “the effort to bring people safely back to their workplaces.”
FN has reached out to Nike about Irving. Requests for comment were not returned by time of publication.