Brooklyn Nets Bench Kyrie Irving Over Vaccination Status

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Brooklyn Nets fans won't be seeing seven-time NBA all-star Kyrie Irving on the court, at least not yet.

On Oct. 12, the team's general manager Sean Marks announced that the 29-year-old athlete won't be taking part in games or practices until he is eligible to be a full participant under COVID-19 vaccination requirements. On Oct. 8, a New York City Hall official told CNN Irving was allowed to practice at the team's facility in Brooklyn but not play any home games. But now, Marks said the team won't let any player participate part-time.

"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," he said in a statement. "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. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice."

photosStars Playing Basketball

While Irving is a top player for the Nets, Marks said the team remains ambitious for its upcoming season.

"Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction," he continued. "We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud."

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The Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, requires all employees and guests ages 12 and older to show proof of having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with New York City guidelines.

Irving has not publicly revealed his vaccination status, asking for privacy when questioned about it at a virtual news conference in September. 

The Nets' regular season begins Oct. 19 when the team faces off against defending NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

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