Unvaccinated hoops star Kyrie Irving slammed New York City Mayor Eric Adams for a recent change to the city’s strict COVID-19 mandates.
Adams announced on Tuesday that the city’s vaccination requirement for private businesses and school-aged athletes was set to expire on Nov. 1, but the mandate would remain in place for the Big Apple’s more than 300,000 civil servants according to NBC New York.
“Our vaccinated workforce kept the city open and operating, with over 300,000 employees it was crucial to put it in place and we’re keeping it in place,” Adams remarked at a press conference. “Our vaccinated workers have carried out their jobs and stepped up when the city needed them the most and we think it’s imperative to send the right message and lead by example.”
Adams lauded residents for being 89% vaccinated, and encouraged them to stay up to date with their shots by getting his own booster in front of the press at City Hall.
“The rollout has been important and crucial and because we’ve been so successful, it’s time to move on to the next level of fortifying our city,” he continued. “This puts the choice in the hands of New Yorkers. It’s imperative we’re asking them to continue to encourage their employees to get their vaccines and booster shots.”
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who was forced to sit out of home games during last year’s NBA season due to the mandate, slammed the decision as a violation of “human rights.”
“If I can work and be unvaccinated, then all of my brothers and sisters who are also unvaccinated should be able to do the same, without being discriminated against, vilified, or fired,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “This enforced Vaccine/Pandemic is one the biggest violations of HUMAN RIGHTS in history.”
Irving was only able to participate in 29 games last season, appearing in only six home games after New York City began allowing unvaccinated professional athletes and entertainers to get back to work in March.
The Nets’ point guard wasn’t the only New Yorker to take issue with the new double standard. The Police Benevolent Association boss, Pat Lynch, sounded off at Adams on Tuesday.
“This announcement is more proof that the vaccine mandate for New York City police officers is arbitrary, capricious, and fundamentally irrational,” Lynch remarked. “Now that the city has abandoned any pretense of a public health justification for vaccine mandates, we expect it to settle our pending lawsuits and reinstate with back pay our members who unjustly lost their jobs.”
The Supreme Court is will weigh in on the matter soon, after NYPD Detective Anthony Marciano sued the city for requiring municipal workers to get inoculated. The case stalled out last month when liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the detective’s legal challenge, but his lawyer sent a request to conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who set a deliberation date for Oct. 7.
“I reapplied to Justice Thomas, who is a strict Constitutionalist,” Marciano’s attorney Patricia Finn commented. “I believed his previous opinions were in line with what I was arguing.”
“I think the court has been waiting for a case like mine,” she continued. “I think they are waiting for somebody to approach the issue in a very clean and straightforward way.”