The NBA has levied a $50,000 punishment against the Brooklyn Nets for giving Kyrie Irving access to the team’s dressing room on Sunday.
Irving, who is not immune to Covid-19, is not permitted to participate in the team’s home games owing to New York City’s occupational vaccination rule but is permitted to attend as a fan.
Irving sat courtside for the Nets’ 110-107 victory over the New York Knicks at New York’s Barclays Center, and the NBA penalized the club for “violating local New York City law and league health and safety procedures.”
Irving acquired the courtside tickets, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. Kevin Durant, the Nets’ star player, tweeted his gratitude for New York Mayor Eric Adams‘ efforts after criticizing him and the city’s vaccine mandate on Sunday.
“The previous two years have been challenging and unpleasant for New Yorkers and a time of great confusion due to the shifting landscape of regulations and demands,” the statement stated.
“I understand the Mayor’s challenge in light of everything the community has been through. My unhappiness with the situation does not alter my commitment to assisting the communities and places in where I live and play.”
Durant earlier stated that he did not “understand” the present mandate and that “it feels as if somebody is making a statement or making a point to exercise their authority.”
“However, everyone out here is searching for attention, and that is what I believe the mayor is looking for right now,” Durant continued. “He’ll soon figure it out. He ought to be.”
‘End It Quickly’
On March 7, Adams eliminated the city’s demand that participants in indoor events show evidence of immunization. Irving, however, is prohibited from participating due to the law mandating all people who undertake in-person labor or interact with the public to produce proof of receiving at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.
Adams was questioned about Irving’s inability to play at a public appearance earlier Sunday. “Listen. You are correct. Kyrie is eligible to play tomorrow. Vaccinate yourself,” Adams said.
LeBron James, a former teammate of Irving’s from the Los Angeles Lakers, responded to the issue on social media, saying it made “absolutely no sense” that the Nets guard could attend the game as a spectator but not join the club as a player.
On Saturday, the former Duke player went courtside at Barclays Center to see the Blue Devils take on Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship.
Tamika Tremaglio, executive director of the NBPA, condemned the city’s social media mandate and asked for its immediate repeal.
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“The absurd rule targeting our own New York City players is profoundly unjust,” Tremaglio stated. “Under the existing policy, out-of-town athletes are permitted to enter the city without vaccination, and supporters can access both the Barclays Center and MSG regardless of vaccination status.”
Nonetheless, New York City athletes must get immunized to compete in their home stadiums. If the purpose of this ordinance is to protect people, it makes no sense, and the city of New York should immediately repeal it.”
Irving will be unable to participate in ten of the team’s remaining 14 games if the municipal requirement remains in place.