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Adam Silver Bashes NYC Vaccine Mandate, Kyrie Irving’s Inability to Play

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has bashed a New York City mandate that has prevented one of his league’s star players from putting on the jersey at home games.

On ESPN’s morning show Get Up, Silver criticized New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate which prevents home players who aren’t vaccinated from playing at (or even entering) their home arena, but strangely, does not prevent away players from doing the same.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who is unvaccinated, is ineligible to play NBA games in New York City because of this mandate, but players from other teams who come into New York to play NBA games are, strangely, not barred from playing.

“This law in New York, the oddity of it to me is that it only applies to home players,” Silver said. “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.”

The Nets, who were visiting the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night (February 16) and not at their home area, still lacked Kyrie Irving as the Garden is located within New York City. The Nets still overcame a 28-point deficit to beat the Knicks, 111-106, at what has been viewed as a low point for both teams this season.

Courtesy of AP

Silver also called out current NYC Mayor Eric Adams, encouraging him to update, change or even eliminate the mandate. “I can imagine a scenario where Brooklyn, as part of New York City, with a new mayor now who wasn’t in place, Eric Adams, when that original ordinance was put into place, I could see him deciding to change along the way and say it’s no longer necessary to have a mandatory vaccination requirement, as I said, particularly one that only affects home players.”

Mayor Adams, when asked of this, acknowledged that the mandate is “unfair” but still refused to update or change it. “First of all I think the rule’s unfair. I believe that we are saying to out-of-town athletes that they can come in and not be vaccinated. Yet New York athletes, you have to be vaccinated…But I am really, really leery about sending the wrong message…And the message we put in place, the rule was put in place. To start changing it now, I think it would send mixed messages. So I’m struggling with this, just to be honest with you.”

Kyrie Irving himself seemed annoyed about the mandate and the Mayor’s refusal to change it, while standing strong on his position. “There’s no guilt that I feel. I’m the only player that has to deal with this in New York City because I play there. If I was anywhere else in another city then it probably wouldn’t be the same circumstances. But because I’m there we have Eric Adams, we have the New York mandate, we have things going on that are real-life circumstances that are not just affecting me.”

Angela Weiss/Getty Images

New York has seen recent COVID-related mandate relaxations, with the indoor mask mandate being lifted recently. Combine this with declining COVID cases, and the fact that the Mayor has admitted that he views the mandate as unfair, having the power to change it but still refusing to, and it becomes clear why Silver’s point could gain traction.

What do you think of Silver’s comments? Do you think the mandate should be kept in place, changed, or lifted altogether? Let us know, by either leaving a reaction below or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.

Author

  • Chris Kirsch

    Chris is a sports culture writer for Celeb Secrets. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, he has been writing ever since he could pick up a pen. He also loves traveling, gaming and pizza, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow Chris on Twitter @chriskirsch01 to be informed of new articles!

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Chris is a sports culture writer for Celeb Secrets. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, he has been writing ever since he could pick up a pen. He also loves traveling, gaming and pizza, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow Chris on Twitter…

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