When NYC Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the potential to roll back the private vaccine mandate a couple of weeks ago, he stated, “Everyone is focused on the sports area. They’re focusing on one person. I’m focusing on 9 million people.” If that was the case, it makes his decision to create an exemption for athletes and performers not to honor private sector COVID mandate that much more confusing.
Mayor Adams has shown a vigor in getting the city back to “pre-covid” times. However, with the rise in cases due to the Omicron subvariant, the mayor’s latest move creates a two-tier segment of people in his city.
A simple solution is to get vaccinated, but Mayor Adams’s insistence on making exceptions for millionaires will not drive on-the-fence workers to do so. If anything, people will be more resentful. They will point to this to go along with the often inconsistent messaging of the CDC for COVID measures. How are we supposed to encourage people to get vaccinated when certain vocal opponents get what they want anyway?
Yes, Kyrie Irving can now play home games at Barclays Center for the remainder of the NBA season. For a player who stated he was the “voice of the voiceless” for people forced to take the vaccine to keep their jobs, Irving gets to do his to the fullest extent. Many educators and public service workers caught in the mandate are either on leave or have lost their jobs. Will he continue to “stand” with them and sit out the remaining six home games?
If Adams claims the exemption was created “because the city has to function,” what about the appearance of a double standard for many, who can’t work right now? They can watch a Yankee or Mets game to see their favorite player as a consolation prize.
When policy decisions are made in this manner, people feel that anything will be changed to appease the wealthy only. It’s not going to drive vaccination rates; it will just appear that billionaire trusts can twist the arm of officials because they need to win games and sell tickets to some people who most likely can’t enjoy the same carveout that a select few can.
Mayor Adams stated in a press conference, “It’s unimaginable — treating our performers differently because they lived and played for home teams. Unacceptable. It’s a self-imposed competitive disadvantage.”
Well, it’s also unacceptable to treat citizens living in the city–the real home team this was as well.