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Floyd Mayweather backs Kyrie Irving over vaccine choice

“America is the land of the free: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly freedom to choose,” Mayweather stated.

Floyd Mayweather backs Kyrie Irving over vaccine choice
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
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Celebrated boxer Floyd Mayweather has got basketballer Kyrie Irving’s back over his decision to resist New York’s vaccine mandates.

The Brooklyn Nets point guard has become the most controversial figure in sports for his refusal to take the vaccine. In an Instagram live video earlier in October, Irving told his fans that he was unvaccinated, clearing up speculation over the topic. In the video, he stated his opposition to the vaccine mandates and expressed his belief that “nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies.”

Although Irving did not condemn those who opt to take the vaccine, Irving has faced dire implications for his decision to speak out. In New York City, home players who are unvaccinated or who refuse to divulge their vaccine status are unable to play indoors, leading to the Nets to bench Irving. The team says that it is choosing to keep him off the court “until he is eligible to be a full participant.”

Floyd Mayweather has now joined the chorus in support of Irving’s decision. In a video posted on Twitter, the professional boxer called Irving a “great person, great father, great athlete.”

“America is the land of the free: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly freedom to choose,” Mayweather stated.

“Never be controlled by money,” he said in his public address to Irving. “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.’”

Over the weekend, a massive group of protesters marched on the Barclays Center to demand that Irving be allowed to play. The group was made up of Greater New York BLM, city workers and conservatives who oppose the city’s vaccine mandate.

Many of the protesters chanted “stand with Kyrie” and “let Kyrie play” outside the sports arena, while others broke through the exterior barricades and jostled with security staff.

“Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protesters from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena,” a spokesperson for Barclays said in a statement. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”

While the NBA isn’t mandating its players to get the vaccine, it is strongly recommending that they do so to comply with regulations and mandates imposed by cities like New York City.

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  • By Andrew Chapados

PETITION: Support Kyrie Irving

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