Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant can’t seem to make sense of New York City’s vaccination rules, which allow his teammate Kyrie Irving to attend but not play in games.
Durant’s frustration came after Irving was granted near total freedom inside Barclays Center, except the ability to play on his team. Durant then called out just how illogical the rules are.
Irving earned media attention Sunday for sitting court-side in the Barclays Center when the Nets competed against the New York Knicks. Irving was able to attend the game because New York lifted its vaccination mandate but was not allowed to participate in the game because New York City has not removed its vaccine mandate on the private sector.
“It’s ridiculous; I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said, visibly frustrated. “They lifted all of that in the arena, right? I don’t get it. It just feels like, at this point now, somebody’s trying to make a statement or point to flex their authority.”
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Durant was also critical of New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D).
“Everybody out here looking for attention, and that’s what I feel that the mayor wants right now: some attention,” the 12-time All-Star said. “But he’ll figure out soon — he better. Are they fearing our safety? I don’t get it. We’re all confused. Pretty much everybody in the world is confused at this point.”
“Early on in the season, people didn’t understand what was going on, but now it’s just stupid,” he added. “So hopefully, Eric, dude, you gotta figure this out.”
Durant was not alone in his critique.
Sports Illustrated reported on the issue with Irving, calling the situation “goofy” and sports announcer Doris Burke classified the footage of Irving as a “visual absurdity.” Even NBA legend LeBron James sounded off on the issue, claiming in a tweet the vaccination rule restricting Irving “makes absolutely zero sense.”
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