Brooklyn Nets NBA player Kyrie Irving, who is unvaccinated, is no longer blocked from competing in New York state over a vaccine mandate, but that will not block him from keeping up the fight against mandates.
"I've been saying from the beginning with all this, it's never been just about me, and any special privilege or exemption," Irving told the N.Y. Daily News. "I think there are a lot of people dealing with real consequences from being unvaccinated. And I don't think it's talked about enough in terms of our essential workers and people on the front lines, and it's just that it's a whole community of us that really want to stand together."
Irving praised New York Democrat Mayor Eric Adams for privileging professional athletes on an exemption from the state's vaccine mandate.
"And though I'm very appreciative of Mayor Adams doing what he did, and everyone in our Nets organization, everyone sending in notes to the mayor and tweets or Instagram posts or wherever you call it, you know, now is the time to really get all of us included and get everybody back to work so we get some normalcy around here," Irving added to the Daily News. "But I know everybody still feels it, and there's a whole community of people that have lost their jobs due to this mandate as well.
"And I'm just putting care out for them most importantly, and standing alongside of them."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called it "asinine" Americans were blocked from work for the choice of not taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We'll let you play," Cruz said of the Houston Rockets. "He's a hell of a player being benched by asinine Democratic theater."
There were 1,400 New York City municipal workers fired last month due to the vaccine mandates, according to the report.
The labor unions are noting the Democrats' hypocrisy of exempting millionaires and punishing the working-class New Yorkers, including NYPD officers and public school teachers.
"There's some progressive action we can take," Irving vowed in support of the unions fighting back at the mandates.
Still, Irving is thankful for his exemption.
"Please take my comment serious when I say I've been pinching myself since Wednesday and Thursday, because there was a time where I got my hopes really, really high and all the air was just let out," Irving told the Daily News. "And it's just a level of disappointment, and I didn't want to get too excited."
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