Kyrie Irving has had a wild season for the Brooklyn Nets. Even though he’s only appeared in a handful of games, the drama that accompanied his anti-vaccination stance dominated the NBA news for months. Irving was finally allowed by the Nets to participate in away games. It turns out that he could play in New York if the Nets were willing to pay a small fine.
The reason for Kyrie not being able to play in the city of New York is that there is a vaccine mandate. The Nets and NBA must ostensibly abide by this order. According to the New York Daily News, the rule could be skirted if the franchise was willing to pay a nominal fine.
Under the executive order of Bill de Blasio, the first offense for a violation is a warning. The second is a $1,000 fine. Each day that increases up to a maximum of $5,000. That would be the price per game if the Nets wanted Kyrie Irving to play home games.
$5,000 is nothing for a professional sports franchise. Teams regularly buy out player and coach contracts in the tens of millions just to make bad or aging players go away. Kyrie himself is losing $400,000 for each home game he misses.
No one questions that allowing Kyrie to play and just paying the fine would enter an ethical gray area. Then again, professional sports haven’t always been paragons of virtue. The entire team regularly travels with Kyrie Irving and the rest of the league who plays against him are all exposed.
It might be something for Brooklyn management to consider. Then again, the team may not want to deal with the public relations headache. The fact remains, if the Nets wanted to allow Kyrie Irving to play, the only thing stopping them is a small amount of money.
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