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Brooklyn Nets sideline Kyrie Irving due to vaccine status

NBA star Kyrie Irving has been sidelined by the Brooklyn Nets due to his vaccination status, announced the organization on Tuesday.

Guidelines in New York City – where the team plays – require proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to enter the Barclays Center, where the team plays. Irving has opted not to get vaccinated, which would impede his ability to participate in home games.

“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,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “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 … Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction.”

Head coach Steve Nash addressed the possibility that Irving would be out for at least half the season on Sunday, “I think we recognize he’s not playing homes games. We’re going to have to, for sure, play without him this year, so it just depends on when, where, and how much.”

ESPN commentator and analyst Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Irving could lose up to $380,000 per missed home game. According to the AP, the NBA league-wide vaccination rate at the end of September hovered around 95%, though the league has no vaccination mandate in place at this time. 

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