Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ripped the National Basketball Association (NBA) Tuesday after fining the Brooklyn Nets $50,000 for allowing an unvaccinated Kyrie Irving to step inside the locker room.
“One final example for just how asinine this is: the NBA just fined Kyrie Irving $50,000 because [of] their rules, the rules of New York City,” Cruz said. “Here’s how idiotic it is: Kyrie Irving could go to a game, could sit in the stands not being vaccinated, which he did. That was perfectly okay. But if he actually plays, that’s not permissible.”
“Because apparently in addition to Diet Coke and peanuts — which we’re told were magical cures for COVID — touching a basketball makes you a lethal threat,” he continued. “This is asinine dishonest theater. Let Kyrie play. By the way, if Brooklyn won’t let Kyrie play, I’m going to make a pitch to you directly. Kyrie, come to Houston, play for the Rockets. We’ll let you play. He’s a hell of a player. Uncle Drew’s being benched by asinine Democratic theater.”
.@SenTedCruz: “Let Kyrie Irving play. If Brooklyn won’t let Kyrie play, I’m going to make a pitch to you directly. Kyrie, come to Houston, play for the Rockets. We’ll let you play. He’s a hell of a player. Uncle Drew’s being benched by asinine Democratic theater. This is stupid.” pic.twitter.com/3MsmSZNnXj
— The Hill (@thehill) March 15, 2022
Irving was permitted to sit courtside at the Barclays Center in New York City alongside his teammates without a mask at the Sunday Nets-Knicks game. The team was then fined for violating a local mandate for allowing Irving into the locker room during halftime. (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Responds To NBA Star Kyrie Irving Over Vaccines)
Irving’s teammate, Kevin Durant, said Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams was trying to “flex” his authority by enforcing the city’s mandate during a Sunday press briefing. Durant said the fine made no sense since there were already unvaccinated people inside the building.
The city lifted its proof of vaccination requirement allowing Irving to attend the game, though a mandate remains in place for private sector workers employed at the Barclays Center, NBC News Sports reported.