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Duke men's basketball comments supportive emojis as Kyrie Irving explains vaccination decision on Instagram

The Duke men's basketball Instagram account used supportive emojis during Kyrie Irving's Instagram live Wednesday night that explained his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Duke men's basketball Instagram account used supportive emojis during Kyrie Irving's Instagram live Wednesday night that explained his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Duke men’s basketball Instagram account replied with multiple supportive emojis during Brooklyn Nets point guard and former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving’s Instagram live discussing his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine last night. 

This came the day after the Nets announced that Irving is no longer allowed to participate in team activities until he is vaccinated. Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith and former Duke guard Jay Williams have voiced their support for Irving's decision in the past few days. 

“It’s so much going on in our world, different and crazy times that right now we gotta stand together and not divide it," Irving said during the Instagram Live. "Now isn’t time to be demonizing everybody for making a choice for what’s best for their lives and I’m gonna repeat that. Do what’s best for you. But I am not an advocate for either side. 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.”

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked if he had any discussions with Irving about the vaccine at Tuesday's ACC media day. He texts with him "every once in a while" and recently exchanged messages about the Kyrie Irving basketball shoes that the team wears, but they have not talked about the vaccine. 

"That's his decision in what he's doing," Krzyzewski said. 

Krzyzewski and his wife Mickie are fully vaccinated and he announced that they had both received their booster shot at Duke's Sept. 28 media day. 

Duke has a vaccine mandate for all students, faculty and staff, including healthcare workers.

The team declined to comment. 



The story was last updated Oct. 15 at 11:45 a.m. 


Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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