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Mayor Eric Adams exempts pro athletes, celebrity performers from New York City vaccine mandate

By Bernadette Hogan, Nolan Hicks, Carl Campanile, Craig McCarthy and Bruce Golding | 24 March 2022

NEW YORK POST — Mayor Eric Adams exempted the city’s athletes and performers from the Big Apple’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Thursday following weeks of pressure after it kept Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving from playing in home games — and was expected to block some baseball players from taking the field next month.

Speaking at Citi Field and joined by executives of both the Mets and Yankees, Adams said Thursday that he has signed the order. The exemption was effective immediately.

“Being healthy is not just about being physically healthy, but being economically healthy,” he said. …

In addition to exempting professional athletes and performing artists, Adams’ executive order covers the arenas, stadiums, concert halls and theaters where they ply their trades — down to the smallest Greenwich Village jazz club or Brooklyn music bar. …

The city’s sweeping vaccine mandates — which led to the firings of more than 1,400 city employees — will still apply to both municipal and private-sector workers. …

Earlier Thursday, the leaders of several municipal unions blasted Adams for adopting a double standard that they said favored famous athletes and other celebrities.

“There can’t be one system for the elite and another for the essential workers of our city,” said Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association and chair of the umbrella Municipal Labor Committee.

Nespoli also invoked the 1,400-plus city employees who were fired for refusing to get jabbed, saying: “There should be a re-entry program for workers to get their jobs back.” …

Patrick Lynch, president of the 24,000-member Police Benevolent Association, said, “We have been suing the city for months over its arbitrary and capricious vaccine mandate — this is exactly what we are talking about.”

“If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting our city in the middle of a crime crisis,” he said in a prepared statement.

“While celebrities were in lockdown, New York City police officers were on the street throughout the pandemic, working without adequate PPE and in many cases contracting and recovering from Covid themselves. They don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens now.” […]

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