The superstar who avoided political commentary at all costs while playing has seen fit to join one of the nation’s most contentious debates in retirement.
Michael Jordan waded into the fiery debate over the NBA’s coronavirus protocols and vaccine mandates on Monday and came down strongly in support of the league.
“I am totally in unison with the league,” Jordan told Craig Melvin on Monday’s edition of TODAY. “I think everybody has been speaking about vaccinations. I’m a firm believer in science, and I’m gonna stick with that. Hopefully everybody abides by whatever the league sets the rules. I think that, once everybody buys in, we’re gonna be fine.”
On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets banned star guard Kyrie Irving from all practices and games until he gets vaccinated in accordance with New York City’s vaccine protocol.
(MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via 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. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Nets GM Sean Marks said, according to ESPN.
(Kyrie Irving. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jordan says he sees health and effective management of coronavirus protocols as integral to team success.
“Whoever stays healthy, whoever can battle the COVID-19 issues that they may have in the course of the year, it’s gonna give that team the best chance,” Jordan said. “So, staying healthy is our biggest thing for [the Hornets]. We’ve gotta stay healthy.”
As of this writing, 95% of the NBA has received the coronavirus vaccine.