NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has questioned New York City’s vaccine mandate that applies only to local teams and speculated that the city’s new mayor may eventually decide to remove the vaccination requirement while lifting restrictions in an interview Wednesday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”
“What’s strange to me is that it only applies to local players,” Silver said. “…If this rule is ultimately about protecting the people in the arena, then it doesn’t make sense to me for an unvaccinated guest player to play at Barclays but neither can the host player. To me, that’s why they should take a look at this decree.”
Silver, who said he had no inside information about the decree, was asked about the matter as Networks Protect Keri Irving He continues to sit outside at the Barclays Center because he has not been vaccinated. Five of Brooklyn’s next seven games will take place in New York City, four of them at home and one in the New York Knicks.
Silver said the NBA wanted to see every player vaccinated and boosted, but the Players Association wasn’t willing to enforce that. He said about 97 to 98 percent of players received a voluntary vaccination, and “the vast majority of them have been boosted”.
But Silver also mentioned that he could see New York City Mayor Eric Adams change the existing law.
“Being here in the New York market, especially in the last week, many of the masking restrictions have been lifted,” Silver said. “You can feel it in the city. There are more people in restaurants, more people outside. While my personal view is that people should be vaccinated, I can imagine a scenario where Brooklyn, as part of New York City, with a new mayor now … I can see him decide to change along the way and say that it is no longer necessary to have a mandatory vaccination requirement.”
Following Silver’s comments, a New York City Council spokesperson reiterated Mayor Adams’ position in a statement the athleteMike Vorkunov encourages all New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
“From day one, the mayor has been clear that we will follow the science. New Yorkers must be vaccinated to protect themselves and others, and help New York City recover and reopen fully. The Key2NYC vaccine mandate remains in place, and we encourage all New Yorkers to get boosters and vaccinated.” .
“I’m the only player that has to deal with this, in New York City, because I’m playing there,” Irving said this weekend. “If I was anywhere else, in another city, it probably wouldn’t be the same circumstances. But because I’m there, we have Eric Adams, we have mandate from New York, we have things going on for real—life conditions that don’t just affect me, brother. You. You ask me these questions—I don’t feel guilty. I’m just living my life the best I can do just like everyone else I’ve missed these past two years.”
(Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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