Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is unvaccinated and won't be able to play home games because he does not meet New York City's vaccine mandate for indoor spaces. It doesn't appear like he has any plans to get the shot, either.
Irving, who has long been known to embrace conspiracy theories such as the earth being flat, is now reportedly "liking" online posts about the COVID-19 vaccine containing microchips, which is probably false.
Matt Sullivan broke it down in an article for Rolling Stone, adding that the "Moderna microchip misinformation campaign" has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group messages.
"Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players' union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that 'secret societies' are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for 'a plan of Satan.' This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week."
While it is ridiculous, it's not hard to see how a theory coming from Irving, who serves as the vice president on the executive committee of the NBA Player's Association, could prevent the NBA from reaching its goal of vaccinating all players.
Although players are not required to be vaccinated, NBA players union executive director Michele Roberts said about 90% of players are vaccinated. That trails the NFL and NHL's vaccination rates.
Irving and the Nets open training camp this week in San Diego, away from the vaccine mandate issue in New York City. Nets general manager Sean Marks said he hoped to have his franchise's vaccination issue settled before the start of the season.