Kevin Durant known as out the mayor of New York City Eric Adams for the vaccine mandate that retains his unvaccinated teammate Kyrie Irving from taking part in throughout house video games.
“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant mentioned. “They lifted all of that within the area, proper? I don’t get it.
“It just feels like, at this point now, somebody’s trying to make a statement or point to flex their authority,” he added.
Durant’s feedback enraged ESPN’s Michael Wilbon. In reality, Durant’s presser nearly introduced Wilbon to tears.
Here’s Wilbon from Sunday’s NBA Countdown:
Kevin Durant is simply too conscious and too plugged-in to say one thing that impertinent. What’s the purpose of that? Want some consideration? You wanna name out any person, name out your teammate. Tell him to get a shot. He’s acquired loads of them ’trigger he couldn’t have gone to grade faculty in metropolitan New York with out the vaccine.
All these guys wanna be so irresponsible and never accountable sufficient to take a look at this dude and inform him, ‘You wanna play with us, put a shot in your arm.’ The vaccine just isn’t about consideration. People died, tons of of 1000’s of them, from this virus. And you assume the mayor of New York must attend to a basketball staff’s wants, your wants, earlier than the wants of the biggest metropolis in America? Are you kidding me? There are some knuckleheads who would say one thing like this, and I’d most likely let it go. Kevin Durant is simply too good and too plugged in. Everybody needs to let you know how woke they’re, after which I’ve to listen to one thing like that? That’s offensive. Stop.
Mike Wilbon went off. pic.twitter.com/KgEXonnGYN
— A Phizer A (@Aqua174) March 13, 2022
At this level, what does “people dying” must do with Durant’s feedback or Irving’s scenario?
First, COVID primarily impacts the overweight and people over 65 or with a preexisting situation, and Omicron just isn’t a lethal variant of it. As a 29-year-old skilled athlete, Irving was rarely vulnerable to severe signs, even when he contracted the virus.
Second, why do New York legal guidelines enable Irving to take a seat courtside on the Barclays Center however not play on it? That was Durant’s level, in spite of everything.
Unfortunately, Wilbon’s weak, nodding co-commentators, Stephen A. Smith and Jalen Rose, by no means pressed him for solutions to those questions, so Wilbon by no means needed to clarify or defend his performative outrage.
If ESPN had some range of thought on the set — you know the way a lot they they love range over there — then somebody might need pushed again in opposition to Wilbon’s babble. Of course, ESPN doesn’t care about that sort of range anymore. And that’s a part of the difficulty with ESPN commentators delving into political points.
Like Wilbon, most ESPN analysts are uninformed on subjects in addition to basketball and soccer. They all get their information from social media and might’t separate cheap arguments from the insane ones, even when introduced with them head to head. That’s why Smith and Rose simply nod alongside. The groupthink at ESPN does such a disservice to sports activities followers and informal viewers.
Ultimately, the vaccine mandate imposed on NYC employees was by no means about well being or security. It was all the time about management, and now it simply appears to be like silly and outdated. Yet dutiful members of the media like Wilbon are nonetheless shaming those that communicate out in opposition to the mandate.
It seems like Michael Wilbon is, to make use of his phrase, the knucklehead right here. A helpful one too.