Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving will finally be able to play in home games after NYC mayor Eric Adams made an exemption to the city’s mandate that prevented unvaccinated athletes and performers from working within the city (the mandate previously prohibited anyone without a vaccine from working in the city).
However, Irving’s involvement in this issue is not over just because his situation changed for the better.
Over 1,000 employees in NYC have lost their jobs because they chose not to get the vaccine, a fact that was not lost on Irving. Now that he is reaping the fruits of sticking to his convictions, Irving wants the rest of the unvaccinated in New York to start demanding that the mandate be lifted as well.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning with all this, it’s never been just about me, and any special privilege or exemption,” Irving said. “I think there are a lot of people dealing with real consequences from being unvaccinated. And I don’t think it’s talked about enough in terms of our essential workers and people on the frontlines, and it’s just it’s a whole community of us that really want to stand together.”
But Irving is not interested in merely giving fluffy pep talks to demand change (these days, those are worth a dime a dozen). The superstar said that he will take steps to financially support union workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the mandates.
Maybe with more peaceful calls for change and a little help from people like Irving, New York will get a sense of complete normalcy and a pointless mandate will be lifted.
Irving’s full-time availability for the Nets comes at a crucial time. With the Nets currently sitting in eight place in the Eastern Conference with seven games left in the regular season, Brooklyn will need all hands on deck to try to improve their playoff seeding.