Chris Brown and T.I. Stand With NBA Star Kyrie Irving Over Anti-Vax Stance

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has been at the center of a media firestorm over his refusal to comply with the NBA’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Irving has received praise from several other athletes as well as popular figures in entertainment, including Chris Brown and T.I.

Chris Brown and Kyrie Irving smiling
Chris Brown and Kyrie Irving | Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving isn’t playing in the NBA because of the COVID vaccine requirement

In October 2021, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Irving would not be participating in team practice or playing any home games due to New York City’s indoor vaccine mandate. After the news broke, he took to Instagram Live to explain his decision.

“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,” Irving admitted. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.”

T.I. and Kyrie Irving smiling for a photo
T.I. and Kyrie Irving | Prince Williams/WireImage

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Chris Brown and T.I. support Kyrie Irving’s decision

Criticism of Irving has reached far spheres of the Internet and beyond, while some are standing beside the star point guard. Chris Brown, no stranger to controversy himself, spoke up in support of Irving on his Instagram Stories.

“The real hero!!!!” his Story read in all caps. “I stand with my brother. Whoever don’t like it… Go live your damn life. It’s his choice and a damn good one. Always in my brother’s corner.”

The Shade Room posted Brown’s statement on their Instagram, and the comments were filled with fans and celebrities alike who made their thoughts known. Among them was rapper T.I., who commented nothing more than a “bullseye” emoji.

T.I. performing wearing a hat
T.I. | Prince Williams/WireImage

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Howard Stern called Kyrie Irving ‘the top idiot in the country’

One of Irving’s biggest critic has been radio shock jock Howard Stern. Stern came for Irving in an episode of his SiriusXM radio show in October 2021.

“In terms of idiots, he’s gotta be the top idiot in the country right now,” Stern said. “Guy’s got a chance as a young man to make millions of dollars, all he’s got to do is get vaccinated, but he doesn’t want to get vaccinated.”

“I don’t know who runs the Brooklyn Nets, but I wish they were running the country,” he added. “I love this. Basically saying, ‘Listen, d—–bag. You’ve got to do what is right; that’s it.’”

In September 2021, Stern took aim at anti-vaxxers when he called them “imbeciles” who were “clogging” hospitals after refusing to get vaccinated and are overwhelmingly crowding hospitals.

“Stay home,” he said. “Die there with your COVID. Don’t take the cure, but don’t clog up our hospitals with your COVID when you finally get it. Don’t bother with science, it’s too late. Go f— yourself ― we just don’t have time for you.”