Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called the NBA “fascist” for benching Nets player Kyrie Irving.
She added in a tweet that Magic Johnson was allowed to “play with HIV,” comparing it to Irving not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Irving will be kept on the Brooklyn Nets’ bench until he gets the COVID-19 jab.
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has spoken up in defense of benched Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who has steadfastly refused to get the COVID-19 shot.
“The fascist NBA won’t let Kyrie Irving play for refusing a vaccine. But yet they still let Magic Johnson play with HIV,” wrote Greene in a tweet on October 14.
Greene was referring to how the NBA star announced his HIV diagnosis in 1991 and then abruptly retired from the sport. Johnson has been credited with being a powerful advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex since his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers in 1991.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets announced this week that they would not allow point guard Kyrie Irving to play or practice with the team because he has not received the COVID-19 vaccine and will, per New York’s vaccine mandate, not be able to play indoor home games. Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated has thrown his $186 million contract extension and his future with the team into question. Irving recently spoke up about his decision to not get the COVID-19 jab, saying he is doing “what feels good for me.”
But there are marked differences between the two diseases that Greene highlighted in her October 14 tweet. HIV is spread chiefly through bodily fluids and sexual contact or by sharing needles or syringes. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory disease.
Greene is known for making inflammatory statements about the COVID-19 virus. This May, she compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional mask mandate to the Holocaust. She then doubled down on those comments, likening proof of vaccination to Jews being forced to wear a yellow star during the Holocaust.
Greene was also suspended from Twitter in July after she falsely claimed that COVID-19 is not dangerous for people under 65 and people who are not obese, and that vaccines should not be required.
Representatives for the NBA, Johnson, and Irving did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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