Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving is unwavering in his decision to opt out of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. He opened up about his decision on Instagram Live on Wednesday.

New York City has mandated that anyone entering a large event or gathering must be vaccinated. Due to this protocol, it is impossible for players to continue playing without receiving the vaccine. Would these players only forfeit the games in New York City? What about all the other cities with a similar mandate? Recently, the Nets decided to take matters into their own hands and disqualified Irving from practice or play until he receives the vaccine.

In his Instagram Live comments, he acknowledged the financial ramifications of standing behind his decision – he is losing $400,000 per game. “It is the reality that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice and I would ask you all to just respect that choice,” he said.

“I am going to just continue to stay in shape,” Irving said, refuting some claims made by the media and fans about his possible early retirement. “This is not a political thing; this is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I am choosing to do.”

The Nets will have to deal with the loss of Irving for the foreseeable future. Their first game of the season will be away against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 19.

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