Kyrie Irving: People dealing with 'real consequences' from being unvaccinated

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No player in the NBA faced the daunting reality of vaccine restrictions like Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving.

After being sidelined for home games at Barclays over his unvaccinated status, Irving wants to make sure all unvaccinated workers in New York are granted the same freedoms.

“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, as relayed by OutKick / HoopsWire’s Sam Amico.

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Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving reacts after hitting a shot during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving reacts after hitting a shot during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Kyrie and unvaccinated athletes in New York have been cleared to play by Mayor Eric Adams; however, employees participating at the players’ home venues must still abide by a private sector ruling that prohibits unvaccinated people from working.

“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,” Irving said. 

“And though I’m very appreciative of Mayor Adams doing what he did, and everyone in our Nets organization, everyone sending in notes to the mayor and tweets or Instagram posts or wherever you call it,” he added. 

NYC MAYOR OFFICIALLY EXEMPTS ATHLETES, PERFORMERS FROM COVID VAX MANDATE

Irvin has played 21 of 74 games (all away contests) for Brooklyn this season and will finally play at his home court on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket during the game against the Miami Heat on February 12, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket during the game against the Miami Heat on February 12, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Joseph Guzy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Nets guard comes back at a crucial time of the year as Brooklyn sits as the East’s eighth-seed team with only seven games left after their game against Charlotte

“You know, now is the time to really get all of us included and get everybody back to work so we get some normalcy around here. But I know everybody still feels it, and there’s a whole community of people that have lost their jobs due to this mandate as well. And I’m just putting care out for them most importantly, and standing alongside of them,” he said. 

FILE - Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving moves the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, May 16, 2021, in New York.

FILE – Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving moves the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, May 16, 2021, in New York.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

When active, Irving has averaged 27.7 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game.

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