Big news out of New York City. Indeed, Kyrie Irving, along with other unvaccinated athletes will be allowed to home games again. NYC is set to lift the vaccine mandate soon, according to a new report via Politico. New York City mayor Eric Adams is set to make the announcement Thursday. The mandate that prevents Irving and others from playing home games for their teams in New York City will no longer be in effect.
How NYC Vaccine Mandate Affected The Brooklyn Nets
The official New York City Health states, “Workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business must show proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to work at their workplace.”
This is what has prevented Irving from joining his fellow Brooklyn Nets teammates for home games throughout the 2021-22 NBA season. With the playoff looming, fans were concerned Irving would not be eligible to play in the Play-In Tournament. To even make the playoffs.
Another layer to this was MLB. Indeed, the same rules that applied to Irving applied to members of the New York Mets and the New York Yankees who were unvaccinated. Even though it is an outdoor sport, that did not matter. The mandate would have prevented unvaccinated players from playing home games in New York. However, visiting players from other teams who were unvaccinated would be allowed to play in those games. The mandate only has applied to New York City employees.
Point of Contention on Mandate
Former COVID-19 senior adviser Jay Varma told Politico, “I think the same rules on vaccination should apply uniformly to all.” He continued, “If there’s a carveout for this group, why can’t any other group then raise its hand and say, I deserve a carveout too.”
This has been one of the big points of contention in the Kyrie Irving debate. He can attend Brooklyn home games and sit courtside. However, the superstar guard cannot play in those games. The other aspect of visiting players who are unvaccinated is that they can play in New York City. Meanwhile, players like Irving cannot have also been a major point of contention among fans and analysts.
He concluded, “Basically it sends a message that this is an arbitrary rule — that if you’re rich enough and powerful enough and high profile enough, that you don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Only time will tell what will happen. However, it certainly looks as though the vaccine mandate that has prevented Irving from playing home games this season is changing sooner rather than later. It will also come just in time before the New York Yankees and the New York Mets begin playing home games. Both teams have championship aspirations, as do the Nets.