The NBA has a major problem on its hands.
It could ruin the season.
And the NBA is facing a major players’ revolt over this political issue.
The NBA – like every other pro sports league – is trying to force players to get the coronavirus vaccine.
One player is standing up.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is the most high-profile NBA player to reject the COVID vaccine.
But Irving’s defiance comes at a price.
Because of New York City’s vaccine passport rule, Irving faces the prospect of sitting out all 41 Nets home games because he will not be allowed to enter the Barclay’s Center.
Irving’s aunt said unvaccinated NBA players may start boycotting their own teams home games to show solidarity with Irving.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” Irving’s aunt told Rolling Stone. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
Irving refused to get the vaccine because of personal freedom.
“It’s not religious-based, it’s morals based,” Irving’s aunt added. “You may have to sit on the sideline, you might not have to be in the arena during this. If it’s that freaking important to get a vaccine that, hell, it’s still not preventing COVID, then I’d rather them working it out that way than to say, ‘Hey, if you don’t get the vaccine, then you can’t be a part of the franchise that you fuckin’ helped build.’”
The Brooklyn Nets are one of the favorites to win the 2021-2022 NBA title.
And Kyrie Irving is part of the Nets’ “Big 3” with Kevin Durant and James Harden.
But if New York City bans Irving from playing in home games, it would compromise the entire season as Irving would not be available for playoff games in Brooklyn.
And to protest this injustice, NBA players around the league may stage a boycott.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.