The “Other Side“ of the Player Empowerment - The Covid Dilemma
Parents tend to think the WORLD of their children. Any accomplishment they achieve, no matter how big or small, is celebrated to the Nth degree. Likewise, so are expectations. Parents expect their children to act accordingly, listen and comprehend proficiently, and speak with confidence and authority.
That is of course, until they listen to their parents and comprehend a situation differently. That is of course, if they speak with confidence and authority in defiance of what their parents believe. At that moment, the expectation dies down.
The funny thing is, this line of thinking carries over much further than when individuals are in their youth. Adults are held to similar standards in the workplace and in life in general. This narrative is on full display within the National Basketball Association right now in regards to COVID-19 vaccination policies.
The NBA informed teams that recently issued laws in both New York City and San Francisco about vaccine requirements will be enforced -- including for players -- for members of the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors unless there is an approved medical or religious exemption from taking part in them, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. In these specific geographic locations, persons over the age of 12 that reside in the region are required to show proof of vaccination to enter certain confined spaces.
For months when the NBA and the NBPA (Players Association) were collectively bargaining the protocols that would be in place regarding COVID vaccines, the Players Associate was firm in their stance that mandating a requirement for players to be vaccinated would not be a topic of discussion. So the NBA and Players Association agreed to let the cards fall, and in an effort to control the situation, the leaders within the NBA decided that they would follow local and state authority policies for regional policies. Essentially, the NBA was able to say, “Look, we aren’t telling you that you have to be vaccinated, the government is.”
This was a fine maneuver by the association - very clever indeed. Unfortunately, we still find ourselves in a situation where the players are not only balking, but attempting to shift the narrative.
The Players Association is clever with their rhetoric. They are attempting to tell the public that they are better than the rest of the country and that they are the ones who need to keep up.
The league has their own opinion though, and it differs completely.
So as of now, less than 20 days before the start of the 2021-2022 NBA season ,the league finds themselves at a stalemate with 10% of their players. Compounding the issue further is the fact that the ring leader is none other than Kyrie Irving, the VP of the NBA Players Association.
Public pressure is also in full effect right now, from both sides of the political spectrum: "We have a rule that has to be applied, whether you're famous, whether you're not famous, you know, whether you're everyday working man or woman – get vaccinated because that's what
makes us all safe," NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Alternatively, Ted Cruz, Texas Senator, took his stance on the other side of the spectrum. As a far-right individual, he shared his enthusiasm for players like Kyrie Irving among others standing firm with their belief that they should not be forced to get the vaccine.
Given all of the nuggets surrounding this predicament, the NBA finds themselves stuck in the middle of an awkward situation. The NBA is one of the most player-friendly leagues in the world. Players are encouraged to share their political and social beliefs. They are celebrated for taking control of their career in regards to where they wish to play and they receive guaranteed contracts.
Up to this point this has been fine and dandy, and the league has taken full advantage of the positive press, but now we are in a situation where the leaders within the NBA firmly disagree (to say it lightly) with a stance that one of their most vocal and prominent players, Kyrie Irving th VP of the Player Association, is leading.
The sports world is forced to ask, “what’s next?” The season is fast approaching and the NBA would want nothing more than to put this situation behind them, but to players like Kyrie, it’s not that simple.
It has been speculated for months that Kyrie Irving was an anti-vaxxer. He was coy with his rhetoric and tongue-in-cheek when pressed, but this was all but confirmed when he was a no-show for the Brooklyn Nets media day. The sports world is a fireball for commentary and the sports-media world is heavy in debate on what the Brooklyn Nets should do, or whether he is correct with his assessment.
A major issue is the fact that Kyrie Irving has spoken very little for himself on the manner. Much of the discussion has been pure speculation. This has been a pattern for Kyrie during his career. He alluded to not wanting to play with LeBron James when they were both teammates, but when pressed on the matter, he questioned why anyone would care or where they could have possibly heard that. He has mentioned that he believes the earth is flat, but when pressed, he spoke in a condescending manner as he questioned other people’s ability to believe and praised himself for being woke. He did the same thing as a member of the Celtics and has followed the same cycle again with the vaccination issue. Rinse, recycle, repeat. It has become abundantly clear that Kyrie Irving is a pseudo intellectual who is so far removed from the reality of situations as they relate to others, as well as cowardly when he is asked to confirm his outrageous statements.
It can be understood how the vaccination issue is a difficult one for many people, but when celebrities such as Kyrie Irving speak in an uncontrolled and careless manner about a topic as important as this one - hello, it’s a global pandemic - then we as a society need to question what is truly important.
Much is up in the air at the moment for the NBA and the Players Association. It will be interesting to see if this will be remedied in time for the start of the season. One final nugget to note (for now of course) is that the NBA states that players must be vaccinated for two weeks before being cleared of all restrictions. With 19 days until the season, the shot clock is ticking!
What y'all think ? Comment Below
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