Are Unvaccinated Yankees and Mets Allowed to Play on Opening Day in NYC?
New York's mandate about workplace vaccines has kept Kyrie Irving off the court in Brooklyn for the Nets all season
Based on comments he made to the New York media at spring training, it sounds as if New York Yankees superstar slugger Aaron Judge is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and is currently at risk of being kept off the diamond during home games in the Bronx.
“I’m so focused on just getting through the first game of spring training,” Judge told reporters. “I think we’ll cross that bridge whenever the time comes. But right now, so many things could change. I’m not really too worried about that right now.”
If Judge is not vaccinated, he would be subject to the same New York City private-sector employer mandate regarding workplace vaccines that has kept Kyrie Irving off the court in Brooklyn for the Nets all season, a City Hall spokesperson told The New York Daily News. Unvaccinated players on the Mets are subjected to the same mandate. It’s unclear how many players on the Yankees and Mets overall would be unable to take the field in the Bronx and Queens, respectively.
For clarity, this is New York City’s rule about vaccine requirements in all workplaces: “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 workplaces. A workplace is considered any location — including a vehicle — where you work in the presence of at least one other person.”
Yankees officials believe that the city will reverse its decision before Opening Day on April 7 when the Yanks are set to take on the Boston Red Sox, a source with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media. The Yankees also released a statement on the matter on Tuesday afternoon, ostensibly due to Judge’s comments creating a frenzy.
“On behalf of the Yankees, [team president] Randy Levine is working with city hall and all other appropriate officials on this matter,” a team spokesman said. “We will have no further comment.”
If the situation is not resolved, Yankees and Mets who are forced to sit out will probably not be paid under the terms of the new labor agreement, as players who are not allowed to enter Canada due to border restrictions against unvaccinated foreign visitors entering the country are not paid for games missed against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
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