Protests back NBA star against New York vaccination rules – RT Sport News


New York basketball fans stood behind Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving for his Covid vaccination saga

Brooklyn Nets fans protested outside the team’s Barclays Center arena in support of star player Kyrie Irving, who remains unable to play games in New York due to the city’s Covid vaccine mandate policy .

Irving, a seven-time NBA All-Star, remains banned from playing home games for his team despite lifting the requirement for fans to get vaccinated to enter the arena, as current policy still requires that all employees – Irving included – are fully vaccinated against Covid -19.

Ahead of the Nets’ five-point win over the Portland Trailblazers on Friday, a fan protest was noted outside the Barclays Center with fans holding signs and placards in support of Irving – a figure that has come to symbolize opposition to vaccine requirements in sport.

Signs read “Wake Up, New York” and “Brooklyn Loves Kyrie”while others destroyed Nets tickets and tore up photographs of Mayor Eric Adams in a statement of anger over Adams’ apparent reluctance to lift restrictions that would allow unvaccinated Irving to play home games for his team .

There have been previous protests outside the arena following the initial revelation of Irving’s vaccination status in October.

Irving was then briefly exiled from the team, while the point guard said he was “do what’s best for me”.

Despite being repeatedly pressed on the issue by the media, Adams has yet to offer a concrete timeline on the potential easing of mandates — a stance also taken by the New York City Health Commissioner. York, Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

“I think it’s undefined at this point,” said Dr. Vasan on Friday.

“People who have tried to predict what will happen in the future for this pandemic have repeatedly found eggs on their face, as they say. I’m not going to do that here.

Adams declined to be drawn into a debate about Irving and said he is focused on protecting the safety of New Yorkers, rather than his most famous basketball player.

“We will continue to take off, but let’s be clear: everyone who focuses on one sporting area, they focus on one person.” he said Wednesday.

“I focus on nine million people” Adams added. “And so I’m not looking at just one person – I’m looking at my city not shutting down again, not having to deal with this crisis again.”

It was also confirmed in recent days that unvaccinated players from New York’s MLB teams, the Mets and the Yankees will be allowed to play home games at the start of the baseball season.

Irving, however, appears to be bound to wait on the sidelines until restrictions are eased – but even that appears to be difficult, after the Nets were fined $50,000 last week for allowing Irving to come into their locker room to visit his teammates after a win over the New York Knicks.

Speaking last week, NBA great LeBron James said allowing Irving to attend games while preventing him from playing “literally makes absolutely no sense.”


“They say if common sense were common, we would all have it,” James added. “Isn’t that the truth?

There have been nearly five million Covid cases and more than 67,000 Covid-related deaths in the city.

Figures show that more than 77% of the city’s population are fully immunized, with 36% receiving a booster shot.

There had been around 15 Covid-related deaths and 30 virus-related hospitalizations in New York City in the month to March 18, with both trending downwards.




RT

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