Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving was not allowed to join the rest of the team when they had a practice session on Tuesday. New York City's current health protocols in light of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic prohibits unvaccinated athletes from taking part in practice sessions and games.
Irving has been vocal about being against getting the coronavirus vaccine. As a result of being an anti-vaxxer, he is set to lose millions in wages if the rules do not change anytime soon unless he changes his stance about getting the jab.
The Nets were in San Diego last week, where health protocols allowed Irving to join his teammates in practice. However, upon their return to New York, he has not been able to join the rest of the team due to current guidelines. The state was one of the hardest hit during the height of the pandemic, and with the number of infections still staggering throughout the country, proof of at least one dose of the vaccine has been required in New York in order for an athlete to be allowed to practice or compete in games at the Barclays Center.
Coach Steve Nash expressed his support for the player, saying that he and the organisation will respect his decision. "We support him. We are here for him. Things change. When there's a resolution, we're here for him," he said, as quoted by AFP.
The problem is, The Nets are based in Brooklyn, which is covered by the strict regulations. This means that Irving will be forced to miss the team's home games if the regulations do not change soon. That will mean millions of dollars in lost wages for the player, and of course a limited roster for the team.
However, Nash remains optimistic about the situation. "I'm not really worried about anything. We're just trying to work every day. We came in today and had a great practice and we'll do the same tomorrow, and that's kind of where I leave it," he said.
The first regular season home game for The Nets is scheduled on October 24, when they will host the Charlotte Hornets.