Vaccine denial cost me $100m, says NBA superstar — RT Sport News

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has said he missed out on a four-year, $100 million extension to his contract last season due to his opposition to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Irving was forced to skip home games from the start of the 2021-22 season until the end of March amid rules imposed in New York regarding vaccination mandates, and said at a Monday press event that he had rejected a Nets contract extension because he said if he felt like he was being handed a financial « ultimatum » be vaccinated.

« I gave up four years, 100 million and something decided not to be vaccinated and that was the decision“Irving told the media.

« [Get this] contract, get vaccinated or not be vaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty about 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 this real situation of losing my job for this decision.”

Irving added that he had hoped his contract situation would be linked before the start of last season, but that the failure of the two parties to reach an agreement proved to be an obstacle to his ability to prepare effectively for. countryside.

« We were supposed to have it all figured out before training camp last year., » he explained.

« And it just didn’t happen because of my status as vaccinated, unvaccinated. So I understood their point of view and just had to live with it. It was a hard pill to swallow, honestly.”

However, Sean Marks, the general manager of the Brooklyn Nets and the man with whom Irving’s representatives allegedly negotiated, dismissed suggestions that Irving was presented with any type of ultimatum.

« There is no ultimatum given here« Mark said.

“Again, it comes down to wanting reliable people, people who are here and accountable. All of us: staff, players, coaches, etc. This is not about giving someone an ultimatum to get vaccinated. It’s a completely personal choice. I support Kyrie. I think if he wants to, he made that choice. It’s completely his prerogative.”

Marks, however, admitted that Irving’s vaccine stance impacted the team’s business and was a factor in their discussions for the future.

“So two summers ago it was pre-city, statewide mandates that came in, » he said.

“So once the vaccination mandates came in, and we knew how it would affect [Irving] playing home games and so on, that’s when the contract talks stalled. So it didn’t happen [a point], ‘Here is the deal, now take it back.’ It never happened.

Irving remains tied to the Nets for at least this coming season, and Marks added he has no concerns about the player’s commitment to the team.

« At the end of the day, we’re happy that Kyrie is back here.« Mark said.

« I’m listening to the press conference he had this morning and I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s committed. He understands that in order for him to be a free agent and get what he legitimately wants, he will have to show commitment there and we are happy to support him in any way we can throughout the season to ensure he is healthy and ready to go..”

Sport’s ‘big three’ who resist vaccines come to the fore

And while Irving has maintained that he fully understands the Nets’ position, he added that he is unhappy with how he feels his vaccination status has left him stigmatized in the wider sports community. .

« I understood all the points of the Nets, » he said. « And I respected it and I honored it, and I didn’t appreciate how being vaccinated, all of a sudden, became a stigma in my career that I don’t want to play, or I am willing to give up everything to be a voice for the voiceless.

« And what I’m gonna stand on here and say, that wasn’t the only intention I had, it was to be the voice of the voiceless, it was to stand on something that was going to be taller than me.”


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