Updated on March 24, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who ended the vaccine and mask mandate for public schools on March 7, announced that he will exempt the city’s vaccine mandate for athletes and performers, according to the Associated Press.
This will open the door for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play home games and unvaccinated MLB players to take the field on opening day.
Mayor Adams, who’s a Mets fan, made the “economic and health-related announcement” at Citi Field, the home of the Mets. The exemption is effective immediately.
But, the vaccine mandate for workers will still apply to government employees and private workers. Just a month ago, almost 1,500 New York City workers were fired after refusing to get vaccinated.
Many of those government employees and private workers have been the biggest critics of Mayor Adams, accusing him of lifting the rule for only wealthy and famous performers and athletes, according to the Associated Press.
Mayor Adams said that exempting New York athletes and performers was important so the city could make an economic recovery saying, “players attract people to the stadium,” according to the Associated Press.
Mayor Adams previously said that he thinks the vaccine mandate, which was put in place by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, was unfair when it came to performers and athletes because of a loophole in the mandate that would allow visiting players and performers who don’t live or work in New York to still play or perform even if they are not vaccinated, according to the Associated Press.
Irving, a vaccine holdout and the most high-profile person impacted by the mandate, was willing to die on this hill until he was able to play home games at the Barclays Center.
Now, it seems that he got what he wanted.
Up until January 2022, Irving was not playing in any games at all, but then he was able to become a part-time player only playing in games on the road.
But now after dropping 43 and 60 points in his last two outings, the superstar guard is back to playing basketball in Brooklyn.
The vaccine mandate being lifted for athletes will also affect the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Last week, Yankees star Aaron Judge refused to directly answer a question on whether he was vaccinated or not, leading people to believe that he wasn’t.
But, when asked Wednesday about a vaccine exemption he said, “happy Kyrie can play some home games,” according to the Associated Press.