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‘Has to Be a Real Reason Why’: Fans In Uproar After Kyrie Irving, Nets Both Fined for Irving’s ‘Repeat Refusal’ of Press Interviews

NBA star Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets each have been fined $35,000 for violating the league’s media access rule, ESPN reported

In a statement posted to the NBA Communications Twitter account on Wednesday, May 5, an NBA rep wrote, “Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and the Nets Organization have each been fined $35,000 for violating league’s rules governing media interview access, the NBA announced today.” It added, “The fines result from Irving repeat refusal to participate in team postgame media availability.”

While Irving didn’t address his latest fine, his fans, however, had plenty to say on social media, including one user who questioned, “Why does every tweet specifically say ‘Kyrie Irving’ then ‘and the nets.’ ” That person added, “Just say the team was fined because kyrie wasn’t the only one. Yes he’s skipped media appearances before but this time it’s the whole team so don’t put this on kyrie.”

Another person wrote, “I really hope Kyrie Irving is in a good mental space. He just got his team and hisself fined 35k… I know that’s pocket change but it has to be a real reason why he doesn’t wanna deal with media rn.”

This is the second time the 29-year-old has been fined for not meeting the NBA’s media guidelines. In December 2020, the All-Star selection did not participate in pre-game media sessions over Zoom. He dodged press several times since, resulting in a $25,000 fine. Following the December infraction, the athlete seemingly responded to the charge on social media, calling for the league to make good use of the funds they took from him. “I pray we utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently,” he wrote at the time. “[I am] here for Peace, Love and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move different over here.” He concluded the post, saying, “I do not talk to pawns. My attention is worth more.”

Irving has had a recently troubled relationship with the press. Many people believed his post was directed toward the media. However, he later explained that that wasn’t the case. “The focus is on what’s going on here. You know, my job,” the star said in a later interview. “And I wanted to make sure that, that was clear. No distractions, nothing about dispelling anything, nothing about going back and forth, nothing about calling out one person or another, not even refer to you guys as pawns. You know what I mean? Or media. It’s just really how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists, when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership.” 

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