Sports | September 25, 2021 12:35 pm

Could Kyrie Irving Be Barred From Playing Home Games This Season?

There's a very simple solution to this

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during Game Three of the Eastern Conference first round series against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

In just over a week, the Brooklyn Nets will play their first preseason game against the Lakers. Their regular season begins a few weeks after that on the road, with the Nets’ first home game set to take place on October 24 at Barclays Center. And it’s very likely that one of their biggest stars won’t be able to play — but not because of any injuries or a contract dispute.

Kyrie Irving is the player in question, and the dilemma in which he’s found himself is largely of his own making. Irving is, according to recent reports citing sources within the NBA, unvaccinated. This would be frustrating enough on its own; compounding measures are New York City’s guidelines barring the unvaccinated from a host of spaces across the city, including — as per the city’s website — “professional sports arenas.”

As Jenna Romaine writes at The Hill, Irving’s status remains up in the air. The article cites a recent interview with Sean Marks, the Nets’ general manager, who said, “I can’t comment on who could play and so forth. There would obviously be a couple people missing from that picture.”

Since the pandemic began, the governing bodies for various professional sports have taken a series of measures to keep players and staff safe from COVID-19. Combine that with the city’s own regulations (more about the ins and outs of that here) and you have a perfect storm for unvaccinated players — a perfect storm that has the added benefit of being completely avoidable.