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: NBA’s Nets will not allow star Kyrie Irving to play this season until he is vaccinated

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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will not play for the team during the 2021-2022 NBA season as long as he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, the team announced.

“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 said in a statement. “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. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice.”

Irving has not been able to participate in Nets practices and preseason home games so far this year due to local requirements in New York City for unvaccinated people.

These vaccine restrictions are from the local officials, and not from the NBA.

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Irving was scheduled to make $35.2 million this season from the Nets, and the Nets say he will still be paid for road games that he is technically eligible to play in.

If Irving does not get vaccinated the entire NBA season, he would lose roughly $15 million from the Nets, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Irving could also be in danger of losing some money he earns from his Nike
NKE,
+1.11%

sponsorship deal.

Brands like Nike and Adidas
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routinely include reduction clauses in their contracts with athletes that protect them if the athlete misses significant time from their sport or retires — Irving earns approximately $11 million annually from the Nike, according to Forbes.

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