Last week, there was a renewed sense of hope that Kyrie Irving would soon be a full-time participant for the Brooklyn Nets.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that NYC would phase out the local vaccine mandate in the coming weeks and understandably, it was interpreted that Irving would be able to play in Barclays Center this season.
That sounds extremely promising, right? Minus the fact that the private sector mandate will remain in place, which will allow Irving to watch his team from the sidelines in Barclays and Madison Square Garden. Yet he still won’t be able to play.
Once again, another loophole’s been thrown into the Nets’ season.
Will Kyrie Irving be a full-time participant for the Brooklyn Nets this year?
The Nets are part of the private sector because of BSE Global, the parent company of Barclays and the team. Because BSE Global consists of more than 100 employees, the mandate that will still be in place requires all workers (ie: Irving) to be vaccinated.
Irving is and has been allowed to practice with the team in Brooklyn. He’s able to do that because the public isn’t present at practice. Don’t worry, we’re just as confused.
This conflict would be over if Irving chose to get vaccinated but it still doesn’t make sense why he’s able to sit on the bench at Barclays/MSG but can’t play. On top of that, unvaccinated players on opposing teams outside of NYC can play in Brooklyn and Manhattan. That’s backwards.
On Monday morning, Adams addressed Irving’s current situation on CNBC.
When Adams was asked about why opposing unvaccinated players don’t have to sit out, he said that it “doesn’t make sense.” The mayor, who was elected in Nov. of 2021, called it “a ridiculous rule.” Ultimately, though, Adams said that he has to follow the rules and that if he doesn’t, he’ll “send a wrong message” to the other people who have to obey the mandate.
Uh, has he forgotten that he’s the mayor? And has the power to change the rule? The whole situation is mind-boggling.
Adams added that he wants Irving on the court “badly” and that he’s spoken with Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Based on what Adams said, Irving will continue to not play in home games. Adams emphasized that he’s most concerned with NYC avoiding another shutdown. According to The New York Times, more than 66,000 natives have died from COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
Irving’s reiterated his refusal to get vaccinated. If Sean Marks didn’t backtrack on Brooklyn’s original decision to not allow for the point guard to be a part-time participant, he’d likely not have returned to the court in the first place.
The Irving vaccination dilemma carries on. Sigh.