September 30, 2021
It has been widely reported that around 90% of NBA stars have been vaccinated, with LeBron James finally coming out and confirming that he has received his jabs after doing his own “research.”
And while it has been threatened that unvaccinated stars will be docked pay and could potentially lose millions if they are unable to play, the likes of the Brooklyn Nets’ Irving and Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stand accused of being anti-vax by a Rolling Stone piece last week.
More specifically, Irving is said to have been spotted ‘liking’ outlandish conspiracy theory posts on social media, with the theorist in question claiming that “‘secret societies’ are implanting vaccines to connect Black people to a master computer as part of ‘a plan of Satan’.”
“This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week,” according to the Rolling Stone article.
This anti-vax stuff about Kyrie Irving is pretty wild pic.twitter.com/6WQF7ioZFf
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) September 26, 2021
Kyrie Irving and other major stars in the NBA refused to get vaccinated,” noted Hewitt to Fauci on the former’s podcast.
“They suggest there’s a lot of things wrong with the vaccine. Would you speak directly to Kyrie about the damage he is doing by spreading vaccine lies?” the host asked.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 23, 2021
“I think you have to put it into perspective of what is going on in the country with regard to Covid-19, the now, you know, inching close to 700,000 deaths with a vaccine that unequivocally from a scientific and public health standpoint has been shown to be highly effective and safe,” Fauci responded.
“And although I do respect people’s individual rights to make their decisions, there is also a part of it, Hugh, that is what I refer to as societal responsibility.
“And although there are individual choices that people can make, when you’re dealing with a deadly pandemic, you’ve got to also understand your responsibility to the society within which you live.
“So I wouldn’t want to be pointing a finger at this young man, but I would hope to be able to get him to understand that by allowing the virus to infect you, even though as an individual you say ‘I’ll take my own chances, I don’t care, I’m young, I’m healthy, the likelihood that I’m going to get a serious disease is low’, which is true.
“You can’t deny that. But what happens is that when you do get infected, it’s very well likely that you might pass that infection on to someone who would suffer very terribly from that virus. So you don’t want to be a vehicle for the propagation of an outbreak that unequivocally has devastated society,” Fauci finished.
I didn’t even notice this. Kyrie Irving’s aunt says Irving is going to present alternate “research” about why you “necessarily don’t have to take the vaccine” and refers to Fauci as “False-y.” Okay. pic.twitter.com/Tl23qThtWd
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 26, 2021
Hewitt tried to push Fauci into responding to the likes of Irving directly for putting “stuff online that suggest that the vaccine is dangerous.”
“Well, you know, you tell them that it’s untrue,” began Fauci.
“The fact is these are people, they’re not stupid people. And yet, they [have] somehow or other, been convinced of things that are just not factual.”
“I mean, you look at the data. The data are overwhelming that these are highly effective and safe,” he went on.
“And if you look at the track record of vaccines in general, what they’ve done for society and the benefit/risk ratio overwhelmingly weighs in favor of the benefit.
“And it’s just factual. I mean, it’s, sometimes it’s inexplicable that people can look at data and just say it doesn’t exist. I mean, it does,” Fauci concluded.
Kyrie Irving on if he expects to play in home games this season:
"Everything will be released at a due date once we get this cleared up. As of right now, please respect my privacy." pic.twitter.com/W7fqrFkWY5
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 27, 2021
Meanwhile, New York City mayor Bill Blasio has implored Irving to get vaccinated as continuing in his current predicament would ban him from playing home games in Brooklyn during the upcoming NBA season.
“We have a rule that has to be applied, whether you’re famous, whether you’re not famous, you know, whether you’re everyday working man or woman – get vaccinated because that’s what makes us all safe,” de Blasio said when asked if figures such as Irving could use “wiggle room” around the Big Apple’s rules that require “proof of at least one dose of vaccination for all workers and individuals in indoor entertainment and performing arts venues”.
“Look, I’m a fan,” de Blasio said more specifically regarding the 29-year-old. “I’m a fan of the Nets. I live in Brooklyn. I’m a fan of Kyrie. I would just appeal to him, get vaccinated.
“Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back. Look, there are teams now that are 100 percent vaccinated. That’s a great example to everyone else,” the mayor signed off.