Kyrie Irving to Be Allowed to Play in Home Games Amid Impending NYC Vaccine Mandate Change

Kyrie Irving will soon be able to play in home games for the Brooklyn Nets as New York City nears a change to its private sector vaccine mandate.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with the media.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 15: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with the media after scoring a career high and franchise record 60 points in beating the Orlando Magic by score of 150 to 108 at Amway Center on March 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with the media.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be allowed to play in the Barclays Center on Sunday as New York City lifts its private sector vaccine mandate, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Kyrie Irving is eligible to make his home debut at Barclays Center on Sunday vs. the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. New NYC exemption for in-town athletes and performers will be effective immediately beginning Thursday.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 23, 2022

ESPN reports New York mayor Eric Adams had been working with health officials on altering the polarizing mandate which will also allow for unvaccinated New York Yankees and Mets players to play home games by Opening Day next month. 

Irving hasn’t played in a single home this season over his decision to remain unvaccinated, but he has attended a few games in Barclays after the mandate was lifted, including a matinee contest against the Knicks earlier this month where the Nets were fined $50,000 by the NBA for “violating New York City law and league health and safety protocols” by allowing Kyrie to go into the locker room after the game.

His maskless presence has sparked conversations about the private sector vaccine mandate still being in place. Irving’s frustrated teammate Kevin Durant criticized the “ridiculous” mandate in his post-game comments following the Knicks game. “It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said, per The Hill. “It just feels like, at this point now, someone is trying to make a statement or point to flex their authority.”

Durant’s remarks led to an impassioned response from ESPN’s Mike Wilbon, who called out the Nets star for directing the blame at the wrong person. 

Michael Wilbon can still rant with the best of them

— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) March 14, 2022

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