NEW YORK CITY — New York City’s mayor Eric Adams is said to announce on Thursday that he’s exempting athletes and performers from the city’s vaccine mandate for private workers. This comes as national attention is drawn to the city’s inequitable vaccine mandates that target local employees while permitting outsiders to earn a living without being held to the same standards. This move will allow Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play home games and unvaccinated baseball players to take the field when their season begins.
Mayor Eric Adams will make the announcement Thursday morning and it will be effective immediately, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The city’s sweeping vaccine mandate for workers will still apply to people with other types of jobs, including government employees. Adams had said he felt the vaccine rule was unfair when it came to athletes and performers because a loophole in the measure, imposed under his predecessor, allowed visiting players and performers who don’t work in New York to still play or perform even if they are unvaccinated. A similar argument can be made for other private businesses, since they are frequented with customers and businesses partners that will not required to be vaccinated as they are technically not employed within New York City.
While this is great news for the city athletes such as Irving who held our from getting the vaccine, it also demonstrates how the city’s top politician is willing to make favors to the most affluent people. Unfortunately, ordinary working New Yorkers will have to continue to wait and hope to see the day when they are also heard and recognized.