Nets: Karl-Anthony Towns takes apart Kyrie Irving’s vaccine stance

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets lays up a shot against Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets lays up a shot against Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

While star players all across the league have gotten their vaccine shot to protect themselves against COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic, the Brooklyn Nets ended up saddled with the most vocal anti-vaccine advocate in the league in Kyrie Irving. No. 11 now faces the possibility of missing the entire 2021-22 season.

Rather than get his vaccine in order to comply with a New York City mandate that requires vaccination for indoor activities like playing basketball, Irving has decided to refuse inoculation. Rather than make him a part-time road player, the Nets will deactivate him until he either complies or the mandate expires.

The Nets exhausted nearly every option with the goal of getting Irving vaccinated, and nothing seemed to work. Whenever NBA anti-vax misinformation of skepticism has spread throughout locker rooms, social media often refers the players in question to look at the story of Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns has frequently been referred to as an example of how COVID-19 can ravage a family, as he lost several of those close to him, including his mother, over the course of the pandemic. Towns didn’t come after Irving with a ton of vitriol, but he did do a good job of pointing out exactly where Irving is being led astray.

Towns claims that he is supportive of Irving’s right to choose not to get vaccinated, but he has a problem with him creating a “bulls— excuse” as to why he isn’t taking it. I think that liking videos of conspiracy theories linking the vaccine to supercomputers and Satan counts as an excuse that Towns won’t accept.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving should learn from Karl-Anthony Towns.

If we are to believe Irving himself on Instagram Live, he claims that he isn’t necessarily against getting the vaccine, but he is trying to protest the mandates that are forcing unvaccinated individuals to lose their jobs. Irving is misguided in this reasoning and Towns further enforced that point.

By refusing the vaccine, he is putting both himself and those close to him at increased risk of testing positive with debilitating symptoms. Additionally, these mandates likely won’t be reversed based on Irving alone. In the immediate future, all that he’s doing is hurting his pockets and Brooklyn’s championship odds.

The Nets appear to be fed up with discussing Irving after they essentially agreed to bar him from the team until he comes back into the fold. Head coach Steve Nash said that he’s done talking about Kyrie until the situation changes, while Kevin Durant urged everyone to move on and focus on how to win a title without him. 

Perhaps if Irving got in touch with Towns, KAT might be able to help explain to him why getting the shot is in his best interest in the short and long-term. However, if Irving refuses to listen to Towns’ story, he might continue to remain defiant in his refusal, jeopardizing his ability to earn another lucrative contract extension and his personal health.

The Nets went from a virtual lock to make it to the Finals to a team that is going to have to fight and claw through a very competitive Eastern Conference in order to get there, and it’s all thanks to one of their superstars creating some unrealistic scenario in which he’ll be viewed by millions as a martyr who protested against vaccine mandates.

Towns has suffered tremendously through the pandemic, and he has to be boiling under the skin seeing people like Irving be so flippant and dismissive of the vaccine. There is still a chance that a player like Towns ends up changing Irving’s mind, but the Nets shouldn’t bank on it.