Floyd Mayweather backs Kyrie Irving on vaccine: ‘An enslaved mind follows the crowd’

“One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right," the famed boxer said of Irving's refusal to get vaccinated.

Loading the player...

Floyd Mayweather has defended Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving, the Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard, previously made clear that he refuses to comply with New York City vaccine mandates. TheGrio reported that due to the city’s COVID protocols, Irving has been benched by his team, unable to either practice or play with the Nets. Irving is barred from playing until he becomes “eligible to be a full participant” in the team. 

theGRIO.com
Famed boxer Floyd Mayweather (left) has defended the decision by Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving (right) to not get vaccinated against the coronavirus. (Photos: Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the Nets announced that they were indefinitely barring Irving from all games and practices until he was “eligible to be a full participant.” Basically, Irving cannot play in Nets games until he gets vaccinated.

“America is the land of the free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly, freedom to choose,” Mayweather read in a video in response to Irving’s stance. His defense of the pro athlete came a day after hundreds who oppose the COVID vaccine mandates broke through barriers at the Brooklyn Nets home opener.

“Never be controlled by money,”  said the boxer. “I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes his own choices; an enslaved mind follows the crowd.”

Irving is set to lose more than half of his $34 million salary this season if he continues to refuse the jab.

“Stand for something or fall for anything,” Mayweather continued. “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.’”

Earlier this month, Irving posted a 20-minute video on Instagram explaining why he refuses to get vaccinated, theGRIO reported. 

Irving maintained, in part, that he is “standing with all those that believe what is right,” adding, “Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves. Seeing the way this is dividing our world up, it’s sad to see. People are losing jobs to mandates.” 

“I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” he said in a portion of the live broadcast, captured by journalist Chris Haynes. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream, just over this mandate.”

“It’s about choosing what’s best for you,” Irving continued. “You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job?”

Irving claimed he has been dreaming of playing in the NBA and winning a championship since he was in the fourth grade. However, he said, “I’m not going to be used as a person in this agenda.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio podcasts “Dear Culture” or “Acting Up?” Download our newest episodes now! TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

Loading the player...