Critics blast NYC mayor, call for mandate to be dropped for all after decision for athletes

Adams announced Thursday that professional athletes and performers will no longer be required to be vaccinated to play in city venues, including Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2022, 8:46 PM

Updated 842 days ago

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With athletes and performers now exempt from New York City's private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate, critics are blasting Mayor Eric Adams and calling for the mandate to be dropped for everyone.
Adams announced Thursday that professional athletes and performers will no longer be required to be vaccinated to play in city venues, including Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. Adams said the decision is in the best interest of the city's economic recovery.
"To ensure we open our entertainment venues, our ballparks, our concert stages to bring people to the city. Multibillion-dollar industry is tied to tourism," says Adams.
The mayor's exemption of pro sports players and entertainers from the city's vaccine mandate follows weeks of pressure from the sports world. It means Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be allowed to play home games, and unvaccinated baseball players can take the field on opening day.
Adams said the exemption is aimed at addressing a loophole in the mandate, which allowed visiting players and performers who don't work in New York to still play or perform there -- even if they are unvaccinated.
However, the city's mandate will still apply for municipal and private sector workers. Tom Wiermann, of Port Jefferson Station, who taught physical education and health at M.S. 101 in the Bronx, says the decision is unfair. Wiermann was put on leave without pay last year because he chose not to get vaccinated.
"It takes Aaron Judge not being on the baseball field for Mayor Adams to lift a mandate on professional athletes and performers. But still to this day cops, firefighters, teachers, health care workers are still bound to the same mandate that they were bound to long ago and many of these people are still out of work, they have no job to go to," says Wiermann.
Adams says the vaccine exemption for professional athletes and performers will be effective immediately.


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