Kyrie Irving reflects on heavy criticism for refusing the vaccine: ‘The life of a martyr’
The Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Memphis, Tennessee. - Justin Ford/Getty Images North America/TNS

NEW YORK — Surprised by a vaccine mandate that left him unable to play for much of last season, Kyrie Irving described himself as a “martyr” for refusing the COVID-19 shot while facing heavy scrutiny. “I was not expecting a mandate to be brought down in a way where it wasn’t going to let me play at all,” Irving told the Boardroom’s “The ETCs” podcast in an episode published Wednesday. “I had the opportunity to play away games still but there was no plan in place, there was no vision of how it was going to work for our team. And I think that not only impacted not just me, but a lot of people. J...