Kyrie Irving, one of the stars of the NBA, has been removed from the discipline of the Brooklyn Nets. The 29-year-old guard refuses to get vaccinated against covid-19 and this poses a serious problem for his team. The New York authorities require at least one dose of the vaccine to gain access to the closed areas. The possibility was being considered that Irving could play only the games that were not played at the Barclays Center, which meant that he would miss more than half of the games because the two scheduled on the Knicks court must also be included. possibly those played on the Warriors’ court in San Francisco. But when the start of the League approaches, on October 19, and the Nets’ first game at the Milwaukee Bucks court, the Brooklyn team has decided that it will not have Irving until he is vaccinated. Consequently, the player born in Melbourne with American nationality will not be able to train or play with his team.
“Kyrie has made a personal decision and we respect his individual right to choose,” says Nets Athletic Director Sean Marks. “Currently, your choice restricts your availability to be a full-time team member. We will not allow any member of the team to be only available part-time. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. ” The law prevents the Nets from disclosing whether Irving has been vaccinated, but his decision does indicate it, as well as some statements by some of his teammates and those he made exposing his position against vaccination.
The absence of Kyrie Irving is a serious drawback due to his importance in the team that starts as the main favorite according to many fans and also according to the annual survey that the NBA carries out among the sports directors of its 30 franchises. “Our goal is the title and that has not changed,” says Marks. “To achieve that goal, every member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited about the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make Brooklyn proud. ”
The Nets’ decision may open up a great debate in American professional sports. More than 95% of NBA players are vaccinated. But the League does not force players to get vaccinated. However, it provides heavy financial penalties for those players who do not play for “unreasonable causes.” In Irving’s case, for each game he did not play, he would lose $ 380,000, about 328,000 euros. NBA sources assume that, according to the agreement signed with the players’ union (NBPA), Irving’s absence would be understood as a default for “unreasonable cause.” Players ‘union president Michele Roberts disagreed with that interpretation even before the Nets’ decision to remove the player from team discipline.
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