Just in time for baseball season and the NBA playoffs, New York City mayor Eric Adams has selectively eliminated the city’s private vaccine mandates for professional athletes and performers.
After being forced to sit out home games for the entire season, Nets star Kyrie Irving will be allowed to play at the Barclays Center during Sunday’s matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
The change also will make it possible for Yankees three-time All-Star Aaron Judge, who dodged a question about his vaccination status, to play on his home diamond.
“I think we’ll cross that bridge whenever the time comes,” Judge evaded during spring training. “But right now, so many things could change. I’m not really too worried about that right now.”
Adams stated that the decision was made so that hometown teams would be on a level playing field with the rest of the country’s professional sports leagues.
“Day 1 when I was mayor, I looked at the rule that stated hometown players had an unfair disadvantage for those who were coming to visit and immediately I felt we needed to look at that,” he said.
“We were treating our performers differently because they lived and played for home teams. It’s not acceptable,” Adams continued. “This exemption has put our sports teams at a self-imposed disadvantage, but this new order will help boost our economy.”
The NYC mayor has changed his tune, after claiming that athletes wouldn’t get a special exemption. Under the previous version of the mandate, visiting athletes were not required to to be vaccinated in order to play in New York City stadiums and arenas.
Irving pointedly attended a Nets’ home game, where he was allowed to spectate without wearing a mask, to highlight how ridiculous the restrictions were.
While the change may be welcome to sports fans, average New Yorkers who have been forced out of their jobs for refusing the jab are furious at Adams.
“If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting our city in the middle of a crime crisis,” slammed NYPD union boss Patrick Lynch.
“I’m not as important as a Met is, because a Met will fill Citi Field, which fills the coffers of New York,” said a Mets’ Citi Field waitress, who lost her job. “They don’t care that I have been out of work and that I have been at my breaking point.”