NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke out about the city’s vaccine mandate.
Kyrie Irving‘s vaccination status has been the subject of much debate this season. The star was first asked to stay away from the team, but when push came to shove, the Brooklyn Nets asked him to play part-time.
Two influential voices spoke out about the vaccine mandate this week — Adam Silver and Eric Adams.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver weighs in on the New York vaccine requirements, which have kept Kyrie Irving out of home games.
“It just doesn’t quite make sense to me that an away player who’s unvaccinated can play in Barclays, but the home player can’t." pic.twitter.com/epMYGZhYdz
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 16, 2022
“This law in New York, the oddity of it to me is that it only applies to home players,” Silver said via ESPN. “I think if ultimately that rule is about protecting people who are in the arena, it just doesn’t quite make sense to me that an away player who is unvaccinated can play in Barclays but the home player can’t. To me, that’s a reason they should take a look at that ordinance.”
Adams echoed the calls of hypocrisy, saying that the rule is “unfair” and he even took a shot at former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for creating the rule as a “Boston fan,” per Bloomberg.
This is the way it’s been all season long in New York. Unvaccinated players are free to play in Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden, but Irving is still barred from playing in home games.
Unfortunately for the Nets, Adams isn’t making any commitment to changing the rule just yet. Although things seem to be trending that way, nothing is certain.
Changing the rule to apply to all players is possible, but so is a full repeal of the mandate. Cases and deaths surged in December and January with the Omicron variant’s arrival in New York, but both are down significantly in February.
This won’t be the last we hear of the NYC vaccine mandate and how it impacts the Nets.