Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving broke his silence on why he chose to forgo getting the coronavirus vaccine and possibly putting his NBA career in jeopardy.
Irving made his remarks late Wednesday night on Instagram Live. He said he has no plans to retire.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is. That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate,” he said.
Irving, who stands to lose half of his $35 million salary for skipping games over the vaccine rules, said his stand wasn’t about money.
“So what? It’s not about the money. It’s not always about the money. It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money?”
NETS BAN KYRIE IRVING FROM TEAM OVER VACCINATION STATUS
The point guard said he supported people who were and weren’t vaccinated and made no indication he was against being vaccinated. He made clear he just wasn’t getting the jab.
“Once again, I’m going to repeat this. This is not about the Nets, this is not about the organization, it’s not about the NBA, it’s not politics. It’s not any one thing. It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do,” he said.
The Nets drew a red line on Irving’s availability for the 2021-22 season. On Tuesday, general manager Sean Marks said Irving isn’t going to be a part-time player.
“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,” Marks said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“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.”
Irving isn’t eligible to play in home games, where a New York mandate requires professional athletes on the city’s teams to be vaccinated to practice or play in public venues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.