When New York City Mayor Eric Adams repealed the city’s indoor vaccination mandate requirements starting on March 7th, many people were confused. The private sector mandate requiring employees to be vaccinated is still left in place. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving can now attend home games at Barclays Arena, but he still can’t play under the current rules. This scenario played out last Sunday when Irving had to sit in the stands and watch his team beat the New York Knicks 110-107.
MLB Opening Day is on the horizon. Some New York Yankees and Mets players will also not be allowed to play home games because they’re not vaccinated. Sports fans, businesses, and NY athletes are calling for the Mayor to repeal the mandate. As Politico reports, Mayor Adams expects to peel back further COVID restrictions, but reiterates he is “not going to be rushed in based on a season schedule.”
“Baseball season is not tomorrow. It’s not next week. We’re going to work this out, where we will ensure the safety of New Yorkers without continuing the spread of Covid,” Adams said Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to speaking with Major League Baseball as we put our heads together with our medical team and figure out how we come to a solution here.”
Mayor Adams acknowledged Irving’s situation as “unfair” and reiterated special carveouts for athletes while the overall mandate stands.
“Everyone is focused on the sports area. They’re focusing on one person. I’m focusing on 9 million people,” the mayor said. “I’m not looking at one person. I’m looking at my city not closing down again.”
Two things can be true. An unvaccinated player being allowed to watch their team’s game, but not allowed to play doesn’t make sense. However, there is a solution to that problem – athletes can choose to get vaccinated and play in all the home games they want.