American boxer Floyd Mayweather made his opinion known against vaccination mandates and expressed his support for NBA player Kyrie Irving, who has been at the center of a controversy in the professional league for refusing to receive the vaccine against COVID-19.
Mayweather said that “choice is gradually being stripped from us” by forcing sports stars to be vaccinated in order to practice their profession.
With sports around the world gradually returning to normalcy, there has been a push to vaccinate athletes to comply with strict regulations regarding COVID-19 in different states and countries.
The NBA has been one of the major leagues moving in that direction. Although it has not imposed internal mandates, the league is acting in accordance with strict vaccination mandates imposed in local entities such as New York City and San Francisco.
Brooklyn Nets player Irving, who remains unvaccinated, is currently banned from playing in New York due to the vaccine mandate, which has generated criticism against him from fans, analysts and even former players on the one hand, and praise and demonstrations in support on the other.
Mayweather’s message to Irving: “they hate you for being a leader”
That’s why Mayweather posted a video on his social networks in which he reads a letter giving his support to the NBA player.
“Kyrie, what’s up? I know you’re going through a lot. We had the chance to hang out in 2016 when you represented America, when you represented the red, white and blue,” the boxer began.
He referred to Irving as “a great person, a great father, a great athlete,” and said that America should be “the land of the free; freedom of speech, freedom of religion and, supposedly, freedom to choose.”
The former boxing champion said he finds the hatred Irving has been exposed to “crazy” “for being a leader,” and that he hopes the basketball player’s actions will serve as an example for others to “stand up” and “say enough is enough.”
“A free mind makes his own choices and a slave 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.”