NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to Kyrie Irving: 'Get vaccinated, your fans want to see you'

·2 min read

If it wasn't clear before, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hammered it home on Wednesday. 

Kyrie Irving won't be allowed to play Brooklyn Nets home games at Barclays Center if he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19.

de Blasio told CNN on Wednesday that the city's vaccine mandate for large public gatherings doesn't make exceptions based on fame or social status. 

"We have a rule that has to be applied, whether you're famous, whether you're not famous, you know, whether you're everyday working man or woman – get vaccinated because that's what makes us all safe," de Blasio said.

He made the declaration when asked if Irving could find any "wiggle room" in the city's rule that requires "proof of at least one dose of vaccination for all workers and individuals in indoor entertainment and performing arts venues."

Kyrie Irving
Will Kyrie Irving play home games this season? (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

To be clear, Irving hasn't said one way or another whether he's been vaccinated against COVID-19. But he's reportedly not and has liked and followed social media posts from a conspiracy theorist linking the COVID-19 vaccine to secret societies and satan. 

He didn't show up in person with his teammates to Nets media day on Monday and instead addressed questions via video conference because of the city's COVID-19 regulations.

His presumed status has raised questions about whether Irving will be available for Brooklyn's 41 home games this season as the Nets seek an NBA championship. If he's not, he won't be paid for games missed, per an NBA statement on Wednesday. 

de Blasio, who lives in Brooklyn and says he's a fan of the Nets and Irving, hopes to see him suit up. 

"Look, I'm a fan," de Blasio said. "I'm a fan of the Nets. I live in Brooklyn. I'm a fan of Kyrie. I would just appeal to him, get vaccinated. 

"Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back. Look, there are teams now that are 100 percent vaccinated. That's a great example to everyone else."

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