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The Brooklyn Nets is considering paying a small penalty so Kyrie Irving can play at home in the Barclays Center.

Just a few months ago, the unvaccinated star guard was banned from playing for the Nets at home or on the road.
 
RELATED: Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving – Get Vaccinated Or Lose $34 Million
 
However, the Nets had a change of heart after a losing slump left them 2.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference.

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After entering the NBA's health and safety protocol, Irving was allowed to return to the Nets for away games only.

Irving made an immediate impact, scoring 22 points in a win against the Indiana Pacers last Wednesday.

New York City is under a vaccine mandate that prevents Irving from playing at the Barclays center in Brooklyn. But a loophole in former mayor Bill de Blasio's executive order could allow Irving to play at the Barclays Center.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the maximum penalty for breaking the executive order is a $5,000 fine. That's pocket change for billionaire Nets owner Joe Tsai.

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However, sports analysts say Irving should be forced to get the vaccines since $5,000 would be a hardship for the average New Yorker.

MSN Sports' writer Ricky O'Donnell argues:

"A $5K fine is a huge deterrent for any normal person that wants to break the NYC mandate. Tsai and Irving are not normal people. They are ridiculously rich. Just because the fine would be chump change for them doesn't make it right."

Question: Would you pay the fine so Irving can play at home?

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Stephen A. Smith, who bad-mouthed Kyrie Irving for his vaccination stance, has tested positive for Covid-19.

The outspoken ESPN personality announced his Covid status Tuesday on "First Take."

Smith, 54, appeared virtually on the show since he is in quarantine at home. He said his positive test result was the reason he missed Monday's episode of "First Take.".

Smith said he is experiencing mild symptoms and had a fever over the weekend.

He confirmed he received two Pfizer mRNA vaccine injections, but has not yet received a booster shot. Smith said he would "probably be much worse" if he was unvaccinated.

He also said he underwent an endoscopy procedure Thursday morning. He said he began experiencing mild symptoms and noticed he had a fever Thursday evening.

Smith said he discovered he tested positive for COVID on Saturday. He will take off the rest of the week for the Christmas holiday and return to work after the New Year.

In October, Smith and Jay Williams got into a heated debate over Kyrie Irving's vaccination status on First Take.

Smith said Irving's refusal to get the vaccine was "some of the stupidest nonsense" he's ever seen. He urged the Brooklyn Nets to cut the All-Star guard.

Smith also criticized the Nets for bringing Smith back last week. Watch the video below.
 


 

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The Brooklyn Nets announced All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will return to the starting lineup for road games.

Irving was suspended before the start of the regular season after he refused to take the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine.
 
READ ALSO: Kyrie Irving Considers Taking Plant-Based Covid-19 Vaccine
 
The Nets announced Irving will not play in home games at the Barclays Center or two road games at Madison Square Garden, but he will be eligible to play in select road games once he tests negative for Covid-19 and gets back into shape, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

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The Nets made the decision to bring Irving back after the team lost seven fully vaccinated players including James Harden after they tested positive for Covid-19.

Kevin Durant will not play Saturday due to right ankle soreness, according to ESPN.

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"We arrived at this decision with the full support of our players and after careful consideration of our current circumstances," said general manager Sean Marks in a statement on Friday. "We believe that the addition of Kyrie will not only make us a better team but allow us to more optimally balance the physical demand on the entire roster.

"We look forward to Kyrie's return to the lineup, as well as getting our entire roster back together on the court."

Earlier this month, a source close to Irving said he would consider taking a plant-based Covid-19 injection if one is approved by the FDA.

Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving is reportedly considering taking a genetically modified plant-based Covid-19 vaccine to return to the NBA.

According to the NY Post, "people close to" Irving say he could be convinced to get vaccinated if a plant-based Covid-19 vaccine is approved.

Irving, who is a vegan, was forced to sit out the 2021-22 season and forfeit millions in salary and bonuses after he refused to get the Covid-19 mRNA shots.

A New York City mandate prohibits the superstar guard from playing home games at Barclays Center. The Nets suspended him from playing road games if he is unvaccinated.

Researchers are working on genetically modified plant-based vaccines that they claim are effective against the coronavirus.

A Canadian company has reportedly developed the world's first 2-dose plant-based vaccine that could be approved for emergency use by the end of the year.

The 2-dose injections reportedly showed a high efficacy rate against Covid, according to Quebec company, Medicago.

The plant-based vaccine is made by inserting a genetic code into bacteria, then a tobacco plant is soaked in the modified bacteria. The genetic code (similar to mRNA) "teaches" the plant to make a virus-like protein which is then used in the vaccine.

The virus-like particles derived from the tobacco plant is said to stimulate the body's immune system to make antibodies.

Clinical tests showed 71 percent efficacy against all variants and 75.3 percent against Delta when enhanced by GlaxoSmithKline's Covid-19 booster.

The plant-based vaccine's efficacy against the new Omicron variant is unknown, according to Yahoo News.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out in support of NBA star Kyrie Irving who was banned from all games after refusing the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

The semi-retired boxing legend says he hopes Irving will inspire others to join him.

Kyrie, what's up? I know you're going through a lot," Mayweather said in a video shared on Twitter on Monday. Mayweather captioned the video:

"Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us."

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Chris Brown praised Kyrie Irving as a "real hero" for his decision not to get the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine.

The singer-songwriter took to his Instagram stories to express his support for the Brooklyn Nets all-star guard who is forced to sit out the 2021-2022 season.

"The real hero! I stand with my brother. Whoever don't like it ... Go live your damn life. It's his choice and a damn good one. Always in my brother's corner."

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Instagram/@chrisbrownofficial

The Nets previously suspended Kyrie and declined to offer their superstar a $186 million contract extension.

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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.

Healthcare workers and law enforcement officers have been fired or quit because they refused to get the shots.

"I'm standing with all those that believe what is right. Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what's best for themselves," Kyrie said.

"Seeing the way this is dividing our world up, it's sad to see. People are losing jobs to mandates... If you choose to get the vaccine, I support you. Do what's best for you. I continue to pray for all those out there who have lost people to the pandemic to COVID."

On Wednesday, the White House announced a plan to "quickly" inoculate 28 million children age 5-11, pending authorization from the FDA within the next few weeks.

The White House has partnered with over 100 children's hospitals in the U.S. to administer the vaccines.

The Covid-19 vaccines, which do not stop the spread of the virus, will be shipped to pediatricians, local pharmacies, churches, and clinics nationwide.

The White House expects to have 28 million children inoculated by the end of the year.

The director of the CDC announced vaccinated children will still wear face masks in schools.
 

Roshan Perera/Splash News

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.

FayesVision/WENN.com

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.

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

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.

Steven Ryan/Getty Images

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.
 

Elsa/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are preparing for their superstar guard Kyrie Irving to miss all home games in the upcoming season.

With the NBA season opener just two weeks away, the NBA has done all it could to convince Kyrie to take the Covid mRNA vaccines.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie shows no signs of complying with New York City's strict Covid guidelines.

Wojnarowski tweeted on Tuesday:

"There had been previous optimism Irving would get vaccinated and fulfill local mandates, but that hope is waning and Irving's continued resistance to vaccination has Nets preparing for possibility they'll be without him for home practices and games for foreseeable future."

Kyrie is apparently willing to give up $300,000 per home game for the entire season.

San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins reluctantly took the shot rather than forfeit $8 million in salary.

"You don't own your own body," said Wiggins, who added that he felt "forced" to take the shot.

"It came down to get the vaccination or don't play basketball," he told reporters.

"I'm 26. I have two kids ... I'm trying to generate as much money as I can for my kids and my future. Trying to create generational wealth... Hopefully it works out in the long run [and] in 10 years I'm still healthy."

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YouTube, TMZ

Shaquille O'Neal weighed in on Kyrie Irving's refusal to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.

The NBA Hall of Famer shared his opinion about Kyrie's vaccine hesitancy on Thursday.

"Whoever owns the Brooklyn Nets, get him up out of here," Shaq said during an appearance on CBS Sports radio's "Tiki and Tierney" show.

"I would go upstairs and say, 'Get him up out of here.' We can win with a two-punch and a great shooter and some rebounders like we got. Get his a** up out of here."

Shaq spoke more about the subject on his "The Big Podcast with Shaq."

Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Shaq told Spice Adams and Nischelle Turner that he acknowledged Kyrie's right to have his own opinions but he said the NBA superstar should think about his teammates and the community at large.

Shaquille also said the Nets' point guard has an obligation to play all games since he's getting paid $200 million.

"I try not to belittle another man's opinion," Shaq said.

"In this game of ours, sometimes you have to think about others instead of yourself. Now, Kyrie has his views, he has his opinions. I'm not going to knock that. But, he does have an obligation because he took that $200 million."

Roshan Perera/Splash News

Kyrie, 29, has agreed to sit out all home games in New York City, which has strict vaccine mandates.

Shaq, 49, also criticized Kyrie Irving for requesting that the media respect his privacy.

"Only thing I don't like is, 'Oh, I like, can you, you know, you know, respect my privacy?' Once you sign up for this life, there is no privacy. And you have to accept it."

 

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Gtty Images

The NBA announced that it will withhold the paychecks of star players who are hesitant to get the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

Superstar Kyrie Irving, left, leads a small coalition of players, including Bradley Beal, center, and Jonathan Isaac, right, who refuse to roll up their sleeves for the injections.

"Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement on Wednesday.

The multi-millionaire players plan to sit out home games in cities that have strict vaccine mandates.

The withholding of paychecks is among the Covid-19 compliance measures the NBA announced on Thursday morning.

Steven Ryan /Getty Images

The league plans to make life miserable for the unvaccinated holdouts.

When in their home cities, unvaccinated players will be required to remain at home. When they are on the road, they must remain in their hotel rooms, and away from large gatherings.

Unvaccinated players can practice with their vaxxed teammates, but they will be tested frequently.

About 90% of NBA players have received 2 doses of mRNA vaccine, according to reports.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci moved the goalposts again by announcing people who received 2 shots of mRNA vaccine are no longer considered fully vaccinated.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In an interview with The Atlantic this week, Dr. Fauci said that a third booster shot is required to be fully vaccinated.

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"I've made it clear that my opinion has always been that I believe that a third-shot booster for a two-dose mRNA [vaccine] should ultimately and will ultimately be the proper, complete regimen.

"The vaccine is very successful. The durability of it is something that's a subject of considerable discussion and sometimes debate... I think we should be preventing people from getting sick from COVID even if they don't wind up in the hospital."

Fauci insisted it's beneficial to have temporary protection [rather] than no protection. He made no mention of natural immunity.

Fauci and the CDC previously insisted that the mRNA vaccine would prevent the spread of the virus.

In March, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky spoke of impending doom if Spring breakers didn't get vaccines or wear masks.

Fauci now claims he is studying the "durability" of the vaccine, meaning how long the protection will last.

Studies have shown the vaccines' efficacy fades after 3-6 months and a booster will be needed at least every 6 months.

The FDA has approved emergency use of the booster shots for people age 65 and older, and those who are at high risk, including healthcare workers and people with underlying conditions.

Steven Ryan /Getty Images

The NBA is concerned about a cluster of unvaccinated players, including Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, who refuse to get the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, the league is concerned that "leaders" like Kyrie Irving, 29, and LeBron James, 36, are jeopardizing their attempts to vaccinate the entire NBA.

The league front office is worried that Kyrie, in particular, will convince the younger players to reject the mRNA shots or the boosters.

Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Kyrie, star guard for the Brooklyn Nets, will likely comply with New York City's strict vaccine mandate which calls for unvaccinated NBA players to sit out all home games.

Kyrie's aunt said recently that NBA players could sit out all home games to protest the league's vaccine policies, which she calls oppressive.

"There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way. 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."

She went on to say that Kyrie is not looking for a religious exemption.

"It's not religious-based, it's morals based. 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.'"

According to CDC statistics, more than 74% of Black NY residents are unvaccinated. As a result, Black New Yorkers are most impacted by NYC's vaccine mandates.

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Black Lives Matter has accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of discriminating against Black people.

One of the leaders of Black Lives Matter's Greater New York chapter slammed de Blasio, saying his "mandate is racist and specifically targets black New Yorkers."

Chivona Newsome calls de Blasio's vaccine mandates "modern-day Freedom Papers, which limit the free will of Black people."

"Although Mayor Bill De Blasio ran on progressives values, nothing in his tenure will attest to his campaign promises," Newsome told Fox News.

"The September 13th vaccine mandate is racist and specifically targets Black New Yorkers. The vaccination passports are modern-day Freedom Papers, which limit the free will of Black people.

"The vaccination mandates infringe upon the civil liberties of the Black community. It's more than where we can dine or enjoy entertainment, it will result in loss of income. As of Monday, September 27, Black health care workers and educators will lose their jobs."

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets and the NBA league are investigating a video that shows Kyrie Irving partying maskless at his sister's birthday bash.

General manager Sean Marks says the front office is reviewing video footage that shows Irving at a birthday party after he took a leave of absence from the team.

Irving has not played in the last three games after taking a leave of absence for "personal reasons."

Late Monday night, a video of Irving partying maskless with his sister, Asia, in a packed club began trending on social media.

Typically, young Black adults do not wear face masks while partying in nightclubs, because their Covid-19 survival rate is 99.98% and nightclubs have not been proven to be "super spreader" events.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews reported that the league began an investigation into the viral video even though Irving was off the clock and on leave.

It's possible that Irving will have to quarantine, which could extend his absence from the team for another full week.

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden also learned he was NBA chattel when he was fined $50,000 for partying off the clock while not wearing a mask.

The league announced that Harden violated the NBA's COVID-19 protocols by not wearing a mask when he attended an indoor party late last year.