New York City Mayor Eric Adams will reverse the vaccine mandate imposed on athletes and entertainers performing in the city. This rule change will impact NBA Basketball player Kyrie Irving who stars on the Brooklyn Nets. Irving is probably the most famous unvaccinated person in the country at the moment. There has (or now, had) been a long-standing drama surrounding the Nets for not allowing Irving to play during home games. Irving was, however, allowed to play road games. Other NBA teams visiting Brooklyn aside from the New York Knicks were never subject to the vaccine mandate even when patrons buying tickets were. None of the rules ever made sense and they are finally being fixed.
This rule also affects Major League Baseball teams in New York City. MLB’s opening day is Thursday, April 7th, 2022. The Mets and Yankees probably have plenty of players and personnel who are unvaccinated but not quite as famous as a Kyrie Irving. Mets owner Steve Cohen donated $1.5 million to Eric Adams’ mayoral bid back on June 14, 2021. This could have been an incentive to “play ball” so to speak and pave the way for a favorable landscape for sports in the city. The Nets and Knicks obviously share this same issue especially with the NBA playoffs coming up on April 16th.
The problem here is that this rule change doesn’t impact other people affected by a city-wide vaccine mandate. Over 1,400 city workers were fired back in February for failing to meet the vaccination deadline. Other private employers and employees are still subject to vaccine mandates. Since it applies to people who live in the city and not necessarily visiting workers, some were forced to take residence in another part of the country temporarily and return on routine schedules to work. Since athletes and entertainers have been given the greenlight and not normal workers, there will be a ton of lawsuits. Maybe NYC doesn’t mind paying out now that tax revenue will be up due to sports coming back in full force.
Covid Updates: New York City Will End Vaccine Mandate for Athletes – The New York Times
New York Ends Vaccine Requirements For Indoor Dining
New York City Lifts Proof of Vaccine Requirements for Concert Venues | Pitchfork
New York City Lifts Vaccine Mandate for Movie Theaters, Restaurants – The Hollywood Reporter
Kyrie Irving: NBA fines Nets $50,000 after star guard entered locker room – Sports Illustrated
Kyrie Irving makes Nets dangerous and unpredictable – Sports Illustrated