When Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving learned that professional athletes in New York City had been granted an exemption to the city’s vaccine mandate, he was elated that he would be able to fully compete for a championship, but Irving also realized that there were many who have been forced to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning with all this, it’s never been just about me, and any special privilege or exemption,” Irving said. “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 frontlines, and it’s just it’s a whole community of us that really want to stand together.”
Irving has thrown his support behind unions that are fighting the vaccine mandate, specifically mentioning one Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker in New York who has taken a stand against the city’s mandate.
Tramell Thompson, who has been on disability leave for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic, has Irving’s support.
“He’s leading a community of essential workers and people who are unvaccinated or had a belief that they want to continue to live their lives against the mandate and it’s unfortunate to see that people are getting fired,” Irving told The Daily News last week. “Tramell has done a great job of community together and keeping everybody strong and believing this will change. It’s not an easy job so I commend him for doing what he’s doing. But I definitely support the effort to take care of our essential workers and take care of those who have been affected by this mandate.”
On Wednesday, Thompson joined “Fox and Friends” to discuss workers who have been “coerced” into taking the COVID-19 shot.
“Everyone is focused on the people who didn’t take the shot,” Thompson told co-host Pete Hegseth. “Nobody’s really talking up for the people who were coerced to get the shot, to pay their bills, to take care of their family, to make sure they don’t lose their home.”
“We will never find out the true number of the people who were really coerced to get something that they really didn’t want to get,” he continued.
In February, more than 1,400 city workers were fired from their jobs after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the city’s deadline. According to The New York Times, “About 900 of the fired staff worked at the Department of Education; about 100 worked at the New York City Housing Authority, the public housing agency; 36 were from the New York Police Department.”
“My job currently has me written up for discipline because they don’t like any of the freedom-fighting work that I’m doing inside or outside of the MTA, and they consistently try to silence people like me through discipline,” Thompson said on Wednesday.
“I’m here for a purpose,” he continued. “These are God’s plans, not mine, and I will continue to fight for what I feel is right.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.