Boxer Floyd Mayweather posted a video to social media Monday saying he supports Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving who has been banned from playing basketball over his refusal to take the coronavirus vaccine.
Mayweather praised Irving for “being your own man” and for “having integrity” to stand up for what he believes, despite the costs.
“Kyrie, what’s up? I know you’re going through a lot. We had a chance to hang out in 2016, when you represented America – when you represented the Red, White, and Blue. You only want to be treated fairly,” Mayweather said in the video referencing their appearance at the 2016 Olympics.
“I was going to post something on one of my social media pages but I decided to do it the old school way and read it out to you because you are a great person, great father, a great athlete and you believe what you believe,” Mayweather added.
Mayweather continued saying that Irving has every right to make his own decisions because we live in the “land of the free.”
America is the land of the free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly, freedom to choose. Never be controlled by money. I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes his own choices and an enslaved mind follows the crowd. Stand for something or fall for anything. One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right. One choice, one word, one action can change the world. It’s crazy how people hate you for being a leader. I hope your actions encourage many others to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.
Irving has refused to take the vaccine, but he has explained that he is not against vaccines. However, he is against being forced by an employer to make medical decisions.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles during the second half of Game Five of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
“The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that,” Irving said. “But it is reality that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice.
“I am going to just continue to stay in shape, be ready to play, be ready to rock out with my teammates, and just be part of this whole thing. This is not a political thing; this is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I am choosing to do,” Irving added.
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