Enrichment Arts & Culture

Unvaccinated NBA star now practicing with team, could play in games next week

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during Game Four of the Eastern Conference first round series against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusett

Story at a glance

  • The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving returned to practice Wednesday.
  • Irving has been unable to play this season as he is unvaccinated, which goes against New York City’s rules for working in the city.
  • The team recently decided to reinstate Irving for away games where the local policies allow for him to play unvaccinated.

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving returned to practice Wednesday as he prepares for the possibility of playing Jan. 5 for the first time this season.

“Not going to lie,” Irving told The Associated Press. “It’s been relatively tough to watch from the sideline. … But if I get the opportunity to get on the court and play with some of my teammates, even if it’s just on the road for away games, I’m grateful for that opportunity.”

Irving has been unable to play this season as he is unvaccinated, which goes against New York City’s rules for working in the city. However, the team recently decided to reinstate Irving for away games where the local policies allow for him to play unvaccinated.


Our country is in a historic fight against the coronavirus. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


“I knew the consequences,” Irving said of his decision not to get vaccinated. “I wasn’t prepared for them, by no stretch of imagination coming into the season. I had my thought process on being able to be a full-time teammate and go out and have fun and provide a great brand of basketball out there. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. Things happen for a reason and now we’re here and I’m grateful for this.”

The United States is in the midst of another coronavirus surge as the omicron variant ravages the country. The daily average of COVID-19 cases on Dec. 29 in the U.S. was 301,472.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 62 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.


BREAKING NEWS ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

FAUCI WELCOMES TRUMP’S SUPPORT

TRUMP ADMITS HE SUDDENLY FINDS IT ‘VERY TOUGH’ TO SLAM BIDEN AFTER SURPRISING VACCINE COMMENTS

OMICRON SPREAD ‘TRULY UNPRECEDENTED,’ SAYS FAUCI

WHEN AND HOW YOU SHOULD GET TESTED IF EXPOSED TO OMICRON