New York’s mayor faces a backlash over a vaccine exemption for athletes.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
Since New York City Mayor Eric Adams lifted. The vaccination requirement from private employers for professional athletes and entertainers on Thursday. She has drawn the ire of city employees, unions, and others. Who still have to comply with the mandate or lose their jobs.
The Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union, is one of several unions that have criticized the mayor’s decision. On Thursday, Patrick J. Lynch, the union’s president, said the exclusion was a double standard.
“If famous people don’t need a mandate. Then neither do the police officers who protect our city during a criminal crisis,” Lynch said. adding that officers continued to work throughout.The pandemic contracting Covid-19, and “do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens now.”
It is estimated that more than 1,500 public employees in New York City have lost their jobs because they did not follow vaccination orders.
The United Federation of Teachers. The city’s influential teachers’ union, similarly denounced the policy change, highlighting the appearance of special treatment for some of them.
“If the rules are suspended, especially for people of influence, then the UFT and other city unions are ready to discuss how exceptions can be applied to city workers,” the UFT said. Wrote in a post on Twitter.
Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity, a union representing theater actors and directors, said the announcement was a surprise. New York performing arts venues, including Broadway theaters. The Metropolitan Opera currently has a vaccination requirement, which they intend to keep — regardless of the mayor’s announcement.
Yet, writing on Twitter, Ms. Shindle expressed concern about unvaccinated performers and other artists working in an environment. Where people are in close contact with each other, often without masks, and drew attention to performers who do not have union support negotiate safe workplaces.
“Even though it is difficult to thread the needle, it is a solvable problem,” Ms. Shindle wrote. “But that means cooperating *before* removing the layer of protection from middle-class art workers, many of whom have also lost their health insurance because Covid has made work impossible.”
Mr. Adams said he decided based on conversations with his team of public health experts, lawyers, and economic advisers. It is another step in the city’s return to normalcy. He added that this also covers an aspect of the policy that he considers unfair, as the requirement does not apply to out-of-state teams or performers.
In response to a question at a press conference On Friday about whether the change will result in lawsuits, Mr.. Adams reiterated his legal team’s role in the decision. They said those who feel mistreated had taken the court system as a remedy.
The policy change comes as the number of coronavirus cases in New York City has risen 31 percent in the past two weeks, with sub-BA.2 accounting for about a third of patients, although hospitalizations are declining.
The release paves the way for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who declined vaccinations, and Aaron Judge, a Yankees outfielder who refused to reveal his vaccination status to play at home games. The first home game at the Barclays Center for the Nets that Irving will be eligible to play will be on Sunday.