World-renowned boxer Floyd Mayweather took to Twitter and Instagram on Monday to defend NBA star Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“America is the land of the free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly, freedom to choose. Never be controlled by money. I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes his own choices and an enslaved mind follows the crowd. Stand for something or fall for anything. 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’,” Mayweather said in the video.
Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us. pic.twitter.com/7F6RsWaDkL
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 25, 2021
In the caption for the Instagram video, Mayweather wrote that “it’s sad people are hated, punished, teased, and discriminated for not taking the vaccine, for making their own choice” and that if Americans “can’t make our own decisions” then they “are not truly free.”
Irving has been sitting out after New Jersey Nets general manager Sean Marks decided to not allow him to participate at home or on the road until he complies with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. (RELATED: The Nets Won’t Allow Kyrie Irving To Participate Until He’s Vaccinated)
The NBA does not require the COVID-19 vaccination for players however New York City’s COVID-19 mandate requires proof of at least one dose of vaccination for people 12 years and older to participate in indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment and certain meeting spaces.
Shortly after Marks’ decision Irving said in an Instagram live, “I am staying grounded in what I believe in. It is as simple as that. It is not about being anti-vax or about being on one side or the other. It is just really about being true to what feels good for me … If I am going to be demonized for having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, that is just what it is. … I know the consequences of the decisions that I make with my life.”
On Monday, people gathered outside of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to protest the Nets’ decision to bar Irving from playing. The protestors held signs that read, “Stand with Kyrie” and “Let Kyrie Play.”