ESPN “First Take” host Stephen A. Smith got into a heated discussion with colleague Jay Williams on Wednesday regarding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated.
Irving reportedly isn’t getting vaccinated because he opposes mandates forcing him to take vaccines. That move could cost the star his entire season due to not being able to play home games because of New York’s vaccine policies.
Williams, who played in the NBA, voiced his opposition to the vaccinated, labeling the unvaccinated “stupid” or “selfish” by the likes of Smith.
“I’m just telling you how it feels to some people, Stephen A. When you start calling people stupid, or you start … saying that they’re selfish and these things start going all over the internet, that creates a different narrative,” Williams argued. “And people start fighting back against that narrative. … I’m just telling you how it is on the other side, Stephen A.”
“What’s the other side?” Smith asked.
“I’m on the side of being vaccinated, man,” Williams, who shared he had been vaccinated, replied.
Williams went on to point out that Irving is making a personal decision during an unprecedented time.
“He’s choosing to do that for him. And when you go through an unprecedented time in the history of the country, you have your own individual right to make your own decision about what you want to do for you and your family. I just respect that right. I am not saying I agree with that right. I respect it.”
Smith maintained that Irving is selfish and “has the right to go the hell away” if he doesn’t like the vaccine mandate.
“What I’m saying is we’re talking about Kyrie Irving not showing up for the Brooklyn Nets after he got guys to show up for the Brooklyn Nets, and here you go bringing up all that other stuff,” he explained.
“That’s why I’m calling him selfish. Ain’t nobody questioning his right. He has the right to do it. He also has the right to go the hell away then. Retire. Retire, then,” Smith added. “You left your teammates hanging. That’s my point.”
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