He denied rumors that he plans on retiring and said before the season began, "This wasn't an issue."
His name has been at the forefront of discussion regarding the NBA's COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and now Kyrie Irving is speaking for himself. There have been great debates in major sports as leagues have attempted to piece together how to move forward with both vaccinated and unvaccinated players. Irving has maintained that he does not have any plans to move forward with being vaccinated, and with each day comes a new set of rules that keep the Brooklyn Nets star off the court.
On Wednesday (October 13) evening, Irving hopped on Livestream to speak for himself after rumors regarding the future of his career ran rampant.
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"Don't believe that I'm retiring, don't believe that I'ma give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated," said Irving. "Don't believe any of that sh*t, man. Really, be aware of what's being said. Before I even get a chance to be on a podium and speak for myself, you know what I'm saying? All these people saying all these things about what's going on with me and it's not true."
"Pay attention to what's going on out in the real world. People are losing their jobs to these mandates," he alleged. "People are having to make choices with their own lives which I respect and I don't wanna sit here and play on people's emotions, either. Just use logic. What would you do? If you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised that you would have exemptions or that you wouldn't have to be forced to get the vaccine. This wasn't an issue before the season started."
"I'm human, I feel all these things," he added. "I just don't go home and be thinking about ball all the time... To continue to play with my name, to continue to play with my image, to continue to paint me in a certain type of way without me speaking. These dudes are puppets!" Check out highlights and reactions below.