NYC Mayor Eric Adams Has Bad News for Unvaccinated Nets, Yankees and Mets Players… UPDATE

Adams pushed back on the notion that his administration is close to a vaccination mandate rollback earlier this week

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets after a game against the Magic. NYC Mayor Eric Adams recently said the city is not close to lifting vaccine mandates for those who work in the city, including professional basketball and baseball players.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets after a game against the Magic.
Mark Brown/Getty

UPDATE: On March 24,  New York City Mayor Eric Adams formally announced that he was lifting the vaccine mandate in NYC for professional athletes and performers based in the city.

Last week, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge made comments to the New York media suggesting he is at risk of being kept off the diamond at home games in the Bronx because he is still not vaccinated against COVID-19.

After the comments sent Yankees fans worried about losing Judge for 81 games into a frenzy, team officials leaked out via NJ Advance Media that they believe New York City will reverse its mandate requiring public and private employees to be vaccinated before Opening Day on April 7 when the Yanks are set to take on the Boston Red Sox. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams pushed back on the notion that his administration is close to a vaccination mandate rollback and that special concessions will not be made for the city’s professional sports teams. “Right now, we’re going to take some complaints,” Adams said. “But when this is all said and done, people are going to realize this is a thoughtful administration and we got it right. So baseball, basketball, businesses, all of those things, they have to wait until that layer comes.”

With the Yanks set to open on the 7th and the Mets starting play in Queens on April 15, New York’s baseball teams could be at a major disadvantage if they have prominent players who aren’t vaccinated. And the Nets will also be in big trouble in the postseason without Kyrie Irving, who is outspoken about his vaccination status, with the NBA’s playoff play-in tournament scheduled to begin on April 12. (The Knicks, Rangers and Islanders haven’t had any issues with players missing time due to the mandate.)

For clarity, this is the rule about vaccine requirements in all city 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.”

The logic of requiring hometown players to be vaccinated without imposing the same requirement on players of visiting teams or fans attending games is certainly suspect. But the same could be said for the logic of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 unless there is a legitimate reason not to. Either way, it’s game over for unvaccinated players in NYC until further notice.

“We’re going to do it in the right way,” Adams said. “We’re going to follow the science…we’re going to make the right decision. And in New York, no matter what you do, this is 8.8 million people and 30 million opinions, so you’re never going to satisfy New Yorkers, so you must go with the logic, your heart and the science.”

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!