Baseball-New York mayor says he will not be rushed on vaccine rules, with opening day on horizon

Washington and New York officials speak about recent shootings of homeless people, during a news conference, in Washington
FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Eric Adams answers a question from a reporter during a news conference about recent shootings of homeless people in both New York and Washington, at the John A. Wilson Building in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

March 22, 2022

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Tuesday that professional sports teams and players eager to ditch the local COVID-19 vaccine mandate will have to be patient.

All private-sector workers in New York City must show proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, a mandate that encompasses athletes in the United States’ biggest sports market.

The rules could soon impact players in Major League Baseball (MLB), with Opening Day set for April 7 after a lockout forced a brief postponement.

The New York Yankees’ home opener is April 7 while the New York Mets will welcome back fans on April 15.

“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,” said Adams. “You must go with the logic, your heart and the science.”

Adams announced on Tuesday that masks would be optional for children aged 2-4 in school and daycare as of April 4, provided the city remains a “low-risk environment” with respect to COVID-19.

He was unmoved, however, by potential criticism of the vaccine mandate with respect to professional sports, telling reporters the city would slowly evaluate its COVID-19 requirements.

“We’re going to do it layer by layer and each layer we peel back, we’re going to do an analysis: Are we okay?” said Adams.

“Baseball, basketball, businesses, all of those things – they have to wait until that layer comes.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Toby Davis)