New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday that he will not be influenced by professional sports schedules in altering the private sector mandate that prohibits unvaccinated athletes from playing in home games.
“I’m focused on 9 million people,” Adams said, via the New York Post. “And so, I am not looking at one person, I’m looking at my city not closing down again, not having to deal with this crisis again.“ We’re going to peel back like we did with the Key to NYC, like we did with children, we are continuing to do so. But I’m not going to be rushed in based on a season schedule.
“I am going to do this right for the people of the city, and I’m not focusing on one individual; I’m focusing on 9 million people.”
Adams seemed to be alluding to Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who has yet to play in a home game at the Barclays Center this season due to his unvaccinated status. Irving, 29, is eligible to play in only three of the Nets’ remaining 12 games during the regular-season.
“The NBA has a season because of mandates. They didn’t have to cancel the season because we have mandates in place,” Adams said. “We are here while schools are open, businesses are open, our city is not being closed down, our hospitals are not being overrun. This is why we’re here.”
Unvaccinated Mets and Yankees players will have the same issue as Irving and the Nets. Though both New York teams play in an open-air stadium, the mandate stands — unvaccinated players will not be able to play in home games.
The issue was brought up during Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge’s press conference in Tampa Tuesday, and the 29-year-old gave the following response when asked about his vaccination status.
“I’m so focused on getting through the first games of spring training, so I think we’ll cross that bridge whenever the time comes,” Judge said. “But right now, so many things can change so I’m not really too worried about that right now.”
With the Yankees set to host the Red Sox in their season opener on April 7 at 1:05 p.m. ET, Adams said there’s still time to talk with MLB to come up with a solution.
“We’re going to do an analysis. Baseball season is not tomorrow. It’s not next week,” Adams said. “We are going to work this out. We will ensure the safety of New Yorkers without continuing the spread of COVID. I’m looking forward to speaking to Major League Baseball, as we put our heads together with our medical team and figure out how we come up with a solution here. That’s my goal.
“My goal is to come up with a solution where we’re safe, to get our economy back up and operating and don’t change the progress we have made.”
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