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The Brooklyn Nets will no longer offer NBA all-star Kyrie Irving a contract extension after he refused to get the experimental mRNA vaccine.
The decision means Kyrie will lose $186 million, in addition to $16 million of his $34.9 annual salary.
The news comes days after the Nets suspended Kyrie and announced that he can not practice or play in any games with the team in the 2021-2022 NBA season.
Previously, Kyrie was barred from playing home games in New York City or eating with the team - even if he tested negative for Covid-19.
Kyrie has said he is not anti-vaccine, however, he is taking a stand against New York City's strict vaccine mandates that are unfair to workers.
A source close to Kyrie told The Athletic that Irving is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. He has explained his concerns to close teammates, who support him being closed doors.
NBA player Michael Porter, Jr. waited until after signing a $207 million extension before refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.
72,000 nurses, doctors and healthcare workers in New York have been fired for refusing the vaccines.
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The Brooklyn Nets has suspended all-star guard Kyrie Irving from playing or practicing with the team.
General manager Sean Marks announced on Tuesday that Irving "will not play or practice" with the team unless or until he is vaccinated.
"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," Marks said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Steven Ryan /Getty Images
"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."
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced strict Covid-19 vaccine mandates for all state buildings, restaurants and gyms.
However, authorities declared the Nets practice facility to be a "private office building" and thus exempt from the mandate.
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Irving was willing to forfeit $16 million -- nearly half of his annual $34 million salary because he is ineligible to play in 43 home games.
On Sunday, Nets coach Steve Nash said Irving's status was unclear.
"I think we recognize that he's not playing home games. We're going to have to play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much."
The NBA previously stated all players who refused the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine would forfeit their paychecks for every game they missed.
Irving stood to lose $381,000 for every game he missed.
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Drake is self-isolating in his spacious Toronto mansion after partying with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant before Durant tested positive for the coronavirus.
Drake and Durant partied with their boys at West Hollywood celebrity hotspot Nice Guy Lounge on March 11.
The Nets were in town to play the Los Angeles Lakers. Durant, who has a torn Achilles tendon, watched the game from the bench.
After the game, Drake posted a photo of his night out with the 6 ft 10 inch forward.
Drake flew home to Toronto before Durant announced he tested positive for the virus.
The 33-year-old "Hotline Bling" rapper posted a video from his home basketball court. He captioned the video, "My life for the next however long."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose wife tested positive, shut down the country's borders with the United States.
A total of four Nets players tested positive for the virus. Covid-19 causes no symptoms or mild symptoms in healthy people under age 50.
The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and potentially fatal pneumonia among the elderly population, particularly those with weak immunity, chronic illnesses such as AIDS, COPD and other respiratory-related problems.
Photo by WENN.com
Kevin Durant confirmed he is one of four Brooklyn Nets players to test positive for the Coronavirus.
Durant, 31, told The Athletic he feels "fine" with no symptoms. "Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We're going to get through this," Durant said.
The Brooklyn Nets announced that four players had confirmed cases of the virus and three were asymptomatic (no symptoms). All four players are in isolation and under the care of team doctors.
Photo by Drew Altizer/WENN.com
Durant and his three teammates are the latest professional athletes to contract the virus. Utah Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, along with the Detroit Pistons' Christian Wood, also tested positive last week.
As more celebrities and athletes contract the virus, it becomes more evident that the virus causes no symptoms or mild symptoms in most healthy adults. The NBA canceled its season after Gobert tested positive.
The overreaction and hysteria over the virus has threatened the economy and lead to nationwide shortages of food, water and toilet paper.
The CDC offers the following tips to avoid spreading the flu or Covid-19 virus:
1. Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds
2. Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
3. Avoid close contact with sick people
4. Stay home if you are sick
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, refrigerator handles, etc.
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