ESPN's Stephen A. Smith blasts Nets Guard Kyrie Irving for saying he was living the "life of a martyr".

Stephen A. Smith, ESPN’s commentator, countered Kyrie Irving’s claim that he is a martyr for being unvaccinated.

Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets guard, wanted to give a voice to the people by denying the New York City mandate and remaining unvaccinated, according to Smith. He claimed that instead of standing with the people who were victims of the mandate, Irving was having a good time away from the city.

“And when somebody calls you accountable for it, your response is you're a martyr, this brother is he really is on another level; take that whatever way you want to. He's in the stratosphere, none of us are in” said Smith.

While talking to Eddie Gonzales, the Nets guard said he felt that he was letting down his teammates for being absent from the field for parts of the season. He said he didn’t expect the mandate to be brought down so that he could play.

“I had the opportunity to play away games still, but there was no plan in place,” Irving said. “I just had to sit in that hot seat for a little bit and deal with it man, the life of a martyr bro.”