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Nets’ Kyrie Irving Says ‘Don’t Believe I’m Retiring’ Due to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving went on Instagram Live and discussed a number of topics related to his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which in turn has led to his team keeping him away from games and practices.

Anthony Puccio of Sports Section relayed some of Irving’s comments:

Anthony Puccio @APOOCH

“Don’t believe I’m retiring, don’t believe I’m giving up this game for a vaccine mandate.” <br><br>- <a href=”https://twitter.com/KyrieIrving?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@KyrieIrving</a> on Instagram Live <a href=”https://t.co/8pWkieZ9KP”>pic.twitter.com/8pWkieZ9KP</a>

Of note, Irving cleared up that he’s not retiring because of the New York City vaccine mandate, which in part states that everyone going to an indoor gym must have at least one COVID-19 dose.

That precludes Irving from playing home games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The Nets then made a decision to keep Irving away from practices and games, making it clear that they did not want to have a part-time player.

A team statement read in part:

“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. 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 door is open for Irving to return if he chooses to get the vaccine. For now, the Nets are scheduled to begin their season Tuesday versus the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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