“I gave up $100 million contract to remain unvaccinated” – NBA star, Kyrie Irving reveals

NBA star Kyrie Irving has revealed he declined a multiyear agreement with the Brooklyn Nets worth “$100-and-something million” because he refused to get the coronavirus vaccine.

This was revealed by the Brooklyn Nets player on Monday during media day.

Because New York prohibits unvaccinated individuals from entering indoor venues, the veteran point guard was unable to participate in the Nets’ home games until March of the previous season. His ability to travel for away games was also influenced by the requirements for vaccinations in other states.

The seven-time All-Star claims that he was denied a four-year contract extension because he refused to be immunized.

“I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated and that was the decision,” Irving said.

Irving, 30, went on to say that he believed the team was giving an ‘ultimatum’ by refusing to agree to a long-term extension unless he got the COVID-19 vaccine.

“(Get this) contract, get vaccinated or be unvaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you’re going to be in this league, whether you’re going to be on this team. So I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision.”

“I didn’t appreciate how me being unvaccinated came to be a stigma within my career that I don’t want to play, or that I’m willing to give up everything to be a voice for the voiceless.”

General manager Sean Marks slammed the suggestion that he was given an ultimatum.

‘There’s no ultimatum being given here,’ Marks said. ‘Again, it goes back to you want people who are reliable, people who are here, and accountable. All of us: staff, players, coaches, you name it. It’s not giving somebody an ultimatum to get a vaccine. That’s a completely personal choice. I stand by Kyrie. I think if he wants, he’s made that choice. That’s his prerogative completely.’ 

The 30-year-old Irving will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and is making $36 million in the last year of his current deal.

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