Vegan NBA star Kyrie Irving—who currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets—purchased a home for the family of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by police in Minneapolis last summer. Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, a close childhood friend of Floyd’s, revealed the news on a recent episode of “The Rematch” podcast. “Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney,” Jackson said. In a follow up statement, Jackson explained that Irving had reached out to him to offer ways to help. “He wanted to help George’s family and I let him know that a house was what they needed at that time and he made it happen in a heartbeat,” Jackson said.
During a Brooklyn Nets media event, Irving was asked about the gesture. “I just want to keep continuing to fulfill our purpose in serving a lot of the underserved communities,” Irving responded. “Those don’t necessarily get the same attention from just others around. So just trying to do my part with service, that’s all.”
Irving goes vegan and beyond
In 2017, Irving—who then played for the Boston Celtics—adopted a plant-based diet and credited the transition for the Celtic’s 13-game winning streak later that year. In 2019, Irving, along with 13 other professional athletes, invested in Beyond Meat and kicked off the vegan brand’s “Go Beyond” campaign as an athlete ambassador.
The 28-year-old athlete has worked with Beyond Meat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help distribute vegan food to communities in need. Last spring, Irving facilitated the donation of 200,000 vegan Beyond Burgers to the Food Bank for New York City and made a $323,000 cash donation to Feeding America to aid their hunger-relief efforts.