New York City Mayor Eric Adams has signaled that the city’s vaccine mandates may come to an end within “the next few weeks”. Various outlets report various times that the mandates may cease. Some say within a few weeks, some say next month. When Adams was inaugurated back in January, he appeared to be dead set on keeping mandates in place. So the obvious question here is… what made Adams change his tune? Is it like other states who cite a “change in the science”? Or is there another reason? Brooklyn Nets basketball player Kyrie Irving, not “science”, may play the biggest role in all of this.
The NYC vaccine mandate has prevented Kyrie Irving from playing any home games for the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center because he is unvaccinated. As a matter of fact, Irving was barred from playing any NBA games – home or away – because the coaching staff did not want to play him “part-time” meaning he would only play road games. The organization has since softened up its stance and allowed Irving to play road games but not home games. The problem is that the rule the Brooklyn Nets must abide by does not apply to away players. So, for example, another unvaccinated basketball player could fly on a plane with his team and play the Nets in the Barclays Center with no problem.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke out against the New York City rule, citing the contradiction and hypocrisy in it. The rule is clearly punitive to home players while not applying to away players at all. And, of course, there is a ton of money on the line. The NBA is a money-making organization and one of the league’s star players sitting on the bench in New York City will cost them millions in revenue from ad dollars, merchandise sales, and more. NYC will also suffer financially from the Brooklyn Nets not being able to play at full strength. Eric Adams must take the financial well-being of his constituents and the city at large into consideration.
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