Michele Roberts, the departing chief of the Players Association, wants every NBA player to get vaccinated.
But she’s not apologizing for the odd cases, such as Kyrie Irving’s scenario with the Nets, in which he’s currently prohibited from home Nets’ practices and home Nets’ games.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Bronx for Earl Monroe’s Renaissance Basketball Charter School, Roberts said the NBA players should be supported for their high vaccination rate instead of pilloried for the high-profile case of the Nets superstar point guard.
“I’m not going comment on Kyrie because that’s what Kyrie will be doing, making a decision,’’ Roberts told The Post. “But I will say you guys need to stop focusing on that 20-plus players who are not vaccinated.
“Our numbers are 95-, 96-percent (vaccinated). That well beats the national average. What you need to do is ask what we can do to get the rest of the country to do what our players have done.”
Roberts, a native of the Bronx who will retire on Dec. 31, is proud the Knicks, the team of her childhood, are 100-percent vaccinated but isn’t sure she’ll get the league to that point.
“Will we get to 100 percent?,’’ Roberts said. “I don’t know. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t. But we’re still trying. But at this point I’m not ashamed about our players or asking forgiveness. Because we’re doing way better than the rest of the world. Not just the country and New York City.’’
The players’ union voted to make it voluntary for players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and she stands by that call.
However, Roberts said she “absolutely’’ wants players to choose to get the shots.
“And I haven’t been shy to our players,’’ Roberts said. “I think every player should be vaccinated. That’s just me. The union has voted it should be a voluntary decision. I’m not the choir to be preached to. I am the choir. But our rate is something we applaud and are proud of. I’m not going to apologize for the voluntary nature of it.”
It was a “Who’s who” of NBA cognoscenti at Monroe’s school affair. The Knicks legendary guard opened a Bronx school with regular curriculum but adds a basketball component to teach underprivileged students the skills used in the business of basketball (lawyer, agent, physical therapist, coaching, scouting, mathematical analytics, journalist etc.).
Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand for the milestone event. Top members of Knicks brass – president Leon Rose, senior executive William Wesley, GM Scott Perry and assistant GM Allan Houston — were also on hand.
Silver wouldn’t comment on the Irving issue as he is holding a press conference shortly to address those matters.
The initial freshman class of close to 100 students gave Silver the biggest round of cheers when he was introduced to speak. Silver told the students, “For every NBA player, there’s 100 related jobs.’’
The school was eight years in the making – the brainchild of legendary publicist and filmmaker Dan Klores, who introduced the Knicks brass as “the four, five people ready to build a championship team.’’