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Kyrie Irving and other unvaccinated athletes will be allowed to play professional sports with their home team in New York City under a major policy change Mayor Eric Adams is set to announce Thursday, Politico reports.
The NYC Health website states: “Workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business must show proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to work at their workplace.”
While non-city residents — like players on away teams — are not subject to the mandate — and neither are spectators — Politico reports the mayor is expected to declare his decision to reverse the private-sector vaccine mandate specifically for performers and athletes in local venues on Thursday.
The news comes after Adams said on Tuesday the city’s professional sports teams are going to have to wait their turn when it comes to vaccination-mandate rollbacks.
Politico reports the news of the policy change also comes in advance of the start of the baseball season, as the Mets home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks is scheduled for April 15, and the Yankees are hosting the Boston Red Sox on April 7.
Politico reports that City Hall’s former COVID-19 senior adviser Jay Varma, who also worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, criticized Adams’ methods.
“I think the same rules on vaccination should apply uniformly to all,” Varma said, per Politico. “If there’s a carveout for this group, why can’t any other group then raise its hand and say, I deserve a carveout too.”
“Basically it sends a message that this is an arbitrary rule — that if you’re rich enough and powerful enough and high profile enough, that you don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Varma added.
Check back with OutKick for updates.