Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets’ star player is a bold athlete who puts his beliefs above his professional career.
These traits resulted in the dynamic point guard being embraced by corporate media as a social justice warrior who risked his livelihood to stand up for what he thinks – until he elected not to get vaccinated against coronavirus and broke rank with the liberal elite who are in favor of staunch vaccine mandates.
Last year, Complex published a history of Irving’s social justice activism that praised him for supporting WNBA players, seeking justice for police shooting victim Breonna Taylor, resisting the NBA’s plan to play in a “bubble” at the height of the pandemic, donating vegan burgers to a food bank, standing with the Rock Sioux in 2016 by opposing the Dakota Access oil pipelines, and wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in 2014 to honor Eric Garner.
Irving was the topic of segments on CNN and MSNBC when he led a group of NBA players who didn’t feel the league should take away from the Black Lives Matter movement that followed the killing of George Floyd. BET listed Irving’s five instances of using his platform to “fight power”, and praised him for raising “attention to problems that are larger than the game.” The liberal New York Daily News also admired him for “putting people first.”
KYRIE IRVING BREAKS SILENCE ON VACCINE DRAMA: ‘I AM DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR ME’
He’s now standing out for his decision not to be vaccinated.
The unvaccinated Irving is not eligible to play home games in Brooklyn because of a New York City mandate, so the Nets decided a part-time player isn’t in their best interest and sidelined him indefinitely. Irving has become the target of criticism for his activism, rather than receiving glowing media coverage. His stance against vaccine mandates has led to him being called “pathetic”, “pawn” and “pathetic”.
“Kyrie Irving is being vilified for not falling in line with the establishment media’s predetermined stances,” DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News Digital.
“Establishment Media don’t respect individual voices. Instead, they seek to make everyone conform in the false hope it will bring about cultural unity. McCall stated that Irving wouldn’t be able to resist being celebrated for his advocacy of the main media’s preferred causes like the green new deal and passing spending plans in Congress. McCall said that media outlets need to embrace the idea of freedom of expression and not scold people who want to voice their opinions.
The Athletics’ NBA insider Shams Charania first reported Tuesday that Irving “believes he is fighting for something bigger than basketball” and is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates.
Irving is facing a half-million dollar loss for not playing games in accordance with the vaccine rules. On Wednesday, Irving posted his explanation to Instagram.
“This has everything to do with what’s going on in our world … you gotta put your livelihood on the line for a mandate that you don’t necessarily agree with. He said that no one should have to give up their freedoms.
“I’m rocking with all those that have lost their jobs to this mandate and I’m rocking with all those that chose to get vaccinated and are choosing to be safe as well. I’m on both sides of all this,” Irving said, adding that people with opposing views on the vaccine need to come together.
He added, “No more division.”
NETS BAN KYRIE IRRIVING FROM TEAM OVERS VACCINATION STATUS
Irving became a demon to the liberal corporate media. He has been the subject of disparaging segments on CNN, MSNBC, and ESPN, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson blasted Irving’s “self-pitying refusal” to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as “pathetic and dangerous” in a scathing column.
Clay Travis, the founder of Outkick addressed hypocrisy through a series if tweets.
CLAY TRAVIS, KYRIE LOSING MILLIONS OF STANCE. MEDIA SUPPORTS THOSE PROFITABLE.
CNN ran a headline: “NBA star’s vaccination skepticism runs contrary to racial justice position.”
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has been one of corporate media’s most vocal critics of Irving’s decision.
“This is some of the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever seen. Just flat-out stupid,” Smith said Wednesday before belittling Irving’s rationale.
“You’re gonna sit up there and compromise the championship aspirations of an organization you signed onto represent … because you want to give a voice to the voiceless. Is that really true? Kyrie Irving, how will that work for you? You’re going to disappear from the game of basketball,” Smith said. “Who the hell is gonna be interested in what you have to say when you have proven that you can’t be trusted enough to do your damn job?”
CNN also invited Smith to criticize Irving and Don Lemon.
“As far as I’m concerned, to hell with you,” Smith said.
Lemon and his CNN colleague Chris Cuomo began a lengthy rant against Irving Tuesday night
“You have the right to do something, doesn’t mean it’s right the way you’re doing it. And that has just been lost in this perverse sense of prerogative that hey, I have the freedom — you have the freedom to walk into traffic. You know, we don’t suggest you do it,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo stated that “we need the moral rectitude of our leaders to keep ourselves safe in our communities as Christians,” Cuomo explained. “So you’re not going to do something science tells you to do to keep yourself and others safe in your community out of some perverse sense of freedom just because you don’t have to?”
FIVE DEBATE KYRIE IRIVING’S DECISION to SIT OUT
Peacock host Rich Eisen, who took his “The Rich Eisen Show” to the NBC’s streaming service in 2020, also found an issue with Irving’s explanation that he wants to provide a voice to the voiceless.
“Who says they’re voiceless? Every single day it’s all I hear about,” Eisen said.
The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson questioned whether Irving refused other vaccines when he played college basketball at Duke University, and MSNBC host Joy Reid even called the point guard a “pawn for the alt-Right and MAGA army.”
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tweeted that Irving’s explanation is both “bull and sh-t,” while liberal activist Jon Cooper shared a tweet mocking comparisons between Irving and iconic boxer Muhammad Ali.
Dan Gainor, vice-president Media Research Center feels journalists are particularly vicious towards minority influencers who think for themselves.
“It’s always the same whether it’s politicians like the late Herman Cain or stars like Kyrie Irving — the media only celebrate them if they are obedient to the left,” Gainor told Fox News Digital.
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“Conservatives are highly critical about the woke NBA. But Irving and others are apparently waking up to the idea that government is too powerful and vaccine mandates are a bad idea – even if you support the vaccine,” Gainor continued. I think it is admirable that someone this powerful would sacrifice everything not only for his own sake but also for others. The media will try to discredit him. It is 100% predictable.
Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock is disgusted with the way the “brain-dead left” has covered Irving’s personal decision.
“’Pathetic,’ ‘dangerous,’ ‘flat-out stupid’ and a ‘pawn for the alt-Right and MAGA army.’ This is how the Left responds to an adult black gentleman expressing his serious personal reservations about injecting the COVID-19 vaccine into his own body,” Murdock said. The Left could have engaged him in serious arguments about vaccine safety and the need to end this pandemic. They instead resorted back to kindergarten name-calling, juvenile vilification and ad hominem attacks.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.
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