Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather has spoken out in support of NBA star Kyrie Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 despite the league’s push for all players to get the shots.
What are the details?
In a video he shared on Twitter, Mayweather defended the Brooklyn Nets guard after who announced earlier this month that he was unvaccinated.
In an Instagram Live video, 29-year-old Irving announced his status as well as his opposition to mandates.
“[N]obody should be forced to do anything with their bodies,” he said at the time.
In a video posted Monday, Mayweather said, “America is the land of the free: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly freedom to choose. Never be controlled by money. I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes his own choices and a slave mind follows the crowd. Stand for something or fall for anything. One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right. One choice, one word, one action, can change the world. It’s crazy how people hate you for being a leader. I hope your actions encourage many others to stand up and say ‘Enough is enough.'”
He captioned the video, “Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us.”
What did the NBA commissioner say?
During the NBA’s opening night, Commissioner Adam Silver said that Irving should get vaccinated “first and foremost for himself and his family.”
“Next, for his teammates and his community and also for the league that I know he cares so much about,” he added, saying that the vaccine was a scientific “miracle.”
“Science is firmly on the side of getting vaccinated,” he insisted. “And this is in essence, a miracle vaccine. … It’s already saved tens of millions of lives. I think, at some point, for Kyrie to be an engaged member of society — putting aside this league — he needs to get vaccinated. That’s the law in New York: If you want to play in an arena, if you want to visit an arena, if you want to participate in an activity in an arena, you need to be vaccinated, and that’s where he finds himself.”
The Nets announced earlier in October that Irving will not play or practice until he’s been vaccinated.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks in a statement. “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.”