Charles Barkley & Magic Sound Off On Kyrie Irving Vax Controversy

SPORTS NEWS - Kevin Douglas Post


NBA Legends are now coming out to speak on the controversial situation between Kyrie Irving and his stance against taking the Covid-19 vaccination.

Kyrie Irving remains a hot topic in the sports world because his NBA career is up in the air due to the mandatory vaccine policy the league has taken with its athletes. Andrew Wiggins has voiced his opinion of believing he was forced to take the vaccine to be able to play in the NBA. It has been shared that Irving will sit out of home games due to protocols, and while people have agreed that he has the right to do with his body what he pleases, that has not stopped Irving from receiving criticism.

A name that continues to surface during these discussions is NBA icon Magic Johnson who, back in 1991, revealed to the world that he had been diagnosed with HIV. He immediately retired but would later return before bowing out of the league for a final time in 1996.

Johnson recently sat down with CBS News and addressed the ongoing vaccination controversy plaguing the NBA and stated that players who refuse to receive the vaccine are “letting down” their teammates.

“You have said to your teammates, ‘I’m gonna be there for you,’” Johnson said. “Well, you can’t be there if you don’t get vaccinated. You letting them down. And then that hurts our chances of winning a championship. I would never do that to my teammates. Never.” The sports legend was vaccinated earlier this year and has made his vaccination status public.

“I got my two shots and made sure I put it out on social media,” he added. “I wanted, especially my community to know, first of all, it’s safe. And the players, again, people listen to them, they follow them. That’s very important.” Watch Magic Johnson on CBS News below.

In a twist of irony, Florida politician and congressional candidate Lavern Spencer chimed in on the discussion surrounding Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status, and while offering a critique of forced vaccinations, the Republican also referenced Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis in 1991.

Spicer wrote, “They let Magic Johnson play basketball with FULL-BLOWN HIV but won’t let Kyrie Irving play because he won’t get a COVID shot.”


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NBA legend turned sportscaster, Charles Barkley, also chimed in on the situation. He contends it is  a monetary issue that can’t be ignored on Irving’s part in the video below.


Another Los Angeles Lakers great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the same sentiment as fellow “Showtime” player Magic Johnson. He called out all NBA players who were not taking the vaccination.

Per Abdul-Jabbar:

“Next time you have a serious infection, don’t take the anti-biotics the doctor prescribes because they don’t work 100 percent of the time. And when you’re playing basketball, don’t shoot the ball unless you score 100 percent of the time. Also, that question has been answered a thousand times by experts. Trying to make this a matter of principle would be fine, if there was a rational principle involved,” he wrote. “It’s not being forced to be vaccinated, since no one is forcing you. If you are so righteously committed to the principle, then don’t play professional basketball. Stand firm on that principle. Unless money trumps principle… The problem with that vague philosophy is that the rest of us pay for those sloppy thinkers because they are the ones clogging our hospitals, crushing our economy, and keeping us from our loved ones.”

Not all celebrities have the same mindset against Kyrie Irving’s choice as popular singer, Chris Brown, has proclaimed the Nets star as a hero for sticking to his guns on the choice he has made.