Undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has said that the choice for individuals to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine “is gradually being stripped from us.”
The remarks were made this week in a Twitter post by the retired American boxer.
“Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities,” wrote Mayweather.
“America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us.”
Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us. pic.twitter.com/7F6RsWaDkL
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 25, 2021
Mayweather also shot a video responding to NBA star Kyrie Irving’s decision to not adhere to New York city’s vaccine mandate, which required the basketball player to receive the jab or be banned from playing the sport.
Irving instead opted to retire at 29 rather than take the vaccine, saying:
“This is about my life and what I am choosing to do. The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that. But the reality is that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice.”
Notably, this means that Irving’s team, the Brooklyn Nets, will not be extending his $186m contract (€160.3m).
In response to the situation, Mayweather said Irving “only wants to be treated fairly,” calling him a “great person, great father and great athlete.”
“America is the land of the free,” said Mayweather.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposedly freedom to choose.
“You [Irving] were never controlled by money, and I respect you for having integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes its own choices and a slave mind follows the crowd.”
He continued: “One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right. One choice, one word, one action can change the world. It’s crazy how people hate you for being a leader. I hope your actions encourage many others to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ Respect to you Kyrie, and power to the people.”
44-year-old Mayweather, who has been retired from professional boxing since his 2017 bout against Irish MMA star Conor McGregor, exited the sport with no losses in a total of 50 fights.
He is the highest paid athlete in the world in any sport, with his fights grossing $1.67bn (€1.44bn) over the course of his career – a bigger draw than any other boxer in history, including fan-favourites like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.