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'personal choice'

Brooklyn Nets say Kyrie Irving can't play or practice until he's vaccinated

The Brooklyn Nets has announced that Kyrie Irving will not be able to play or practice until he's eligible to become a "full-time member of the team" following his "personal" COVID-19 vaccination decision.

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday that Irving "has made a personal choice," which "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." As a result, Irving will not play or practice until he can be a full participant, Marks said. 

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place in New York City, where the Nets have their home arena, requires having at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to enter indoor gyms, according to CBS News. While the Nets are legally unable to confirm whether Irving is vaccinated, the statement suggested he is not and that he has failed to meet this requirement, ESPN notes. And according to ESPN, when Marks was asked Tuesday if Irving is unvaccinated, he said, "If he was vaccinated, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think that's pretty clear." 

Irving has refused to reveal whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, saying, "There's just a lot of questions about what's going on in the world of Kyrie, but I would like to keep that private." Nets coach Steve Nash previously acknowledged that Irving would not play home games as a result of his vaccination status, adding, "We're going to have to, for sure, play without him this year," per The Washington Post. "So it just depends on when, where and how much." ESPN's Bobby Marks reported that Irving will lose more than $380,000 for each home game he misses.