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'S**t Like This Makes Zero Sense': Trevor Noah Blasts New York's COVID Protocol

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

It's hardly the first time mask and vaccine mandates have proved confusingly illogical, but the scene that played out at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn over the weekend put an exclamation point on two years of back-and-forth guidance that sidelined those who choose not to get vaccinated or go along with the theatrics COVID has wrought.

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Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving attended Saturday's game to support his teammates and was free to enjoy the game...but only from his courtside seat rather than his team's bench. Because Irving has chosen not to get vaccinated, a New York City mandate for private companies — in this case the Brooklyn Nets — prohibited him from playing in his home arena. 

The ludicrous nature of the situation — one in which Irving was free to sit inches from his teammates but prohibited from joining his teammates on the court — has Comedy Central's Trevor Noah up in arms. 

"Restrictions are being lifted so quickly, that things are getting a little confusing," Noah noted while omitting the fact that confusion has been a feature — not a bug — of many mandates along with the fleeting promises for freedom that were made by Biden and Democrats in exchange for unquestioning compliance along the way. 

"Right here in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams had lifted the rule that you had to be vaccinated to attend indoor events," Noah explained. "But there's still a rule that you have to be vaccinated to go to your workplace, so if someone's job is at an indoor event, they can't go to work — but they can show up to work to watch their colleagues do their thing," he added emphasizing the illogical nature of the current COVID protocols.

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A bit sheepishly, Noah remarked "I don't care like how COVID-compliant you are, s**t like this makes zero sense. Can we agree on that?" he asked. 

"So Kyrie can go inside, not wear a mask, even hug a teammate, but he cannot play?" Noah questioned exasperatedly. "I don't get it — Why? Does the ball have a weak immune system? What's going on? I mean, it's crazy," Noah said. 

"Just think about it, Kyrie can't play, but he can sit in the stands right like a fan, and then as a fan what happens if he gets picked to take the half-court shot to win the car?" Noah asked. Can he do that? What are those rules? How does it work?"

Well, the obvious answer: it doesn't. If it's deemed "safe" by New York City for Irving to move throughout the Barclays Center and sit shoulder to shoulder in an arena with tens of thousands of people, then he'd be safe to dribble down the court as a player. I'd even hazard a guess that Irving would be less likely to be exposed to COVID with his teammates in the Nets' locker room than moving around crowded concourses in the arena. 

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What Noah is, albeit belatedly, realizing is that most of the restrictions over the last two years and some of those still remaining in effect rely on unquestioning compliance with government edicts even when they seem illogical. It's just not as often that those highlighting the absurdity are famous NBA stars that can't be brushed aside or ignored as easily as parents of young children, healthcare workers, airline employees, et al. 

Irving confirmed last October that he was unvaccinated, saying at the time that "everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves" and "nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies." His own personal decision is "about being true to what feels good for me," Irving explained. "I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that's just what it is."

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