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NYC's Laws Will Prevent Mets, Yanks Players From Taking the Field at Home, But Visitors Can Play

March 17, 2022

With big trades and big signings, the Yankees and Mets are on track for big seasons — if they don’t have to bench stars for home games thanks to former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s private-sector vax mandate.

City Hall confirmed Wednesday that the same insane rule keeping Nets point guard Kyrie Irving off the court — even as unjabbed out-of-towners play — will (unless a change comes before April 7) keep unjabbed Mets and Yankees off the field entirely for home games when the season starts.

A spokesperson commented on this rule: “We look at the data every single day.”

Huh? Data has nothing to do with it.

Unvaccinated away baseball players will get to play in New York, as NBA ones do. And both teams’ ballfields are open-air, which all data show drastically minimizes the risk of spread.

In any case, COVID is now barely a background risk in all of New York state, with positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths all at tiny levels.

The rule is bizarre and illogical — for ballplayers and all other private workers. It’s also legally dubious (far more so than the case of the city’s mandate on its own employees), apparently relying on the expanded police powers federal courts deem states and municipalities to possess over public health. Especially when the emergency is over.

The rule’s been in place since December, yet the data show no detectable effect on our COVID outcomes. That undercuts the public-health justification, as does the fact that Mayor Eric Adams admitted that he’s kept it in place mostly as a matter of messaging.

The mayor may fear that lifting the mandate will open him up to lawsuits from unvaxxed workers who were fired by the city. But that’s no excuse for inaction now . . . unless he’s planning to keep the mandate permanently.

Repealing this nonsensical rule (along with all the others finally lifted) is an important step to helping New York get over the pandemic, as well as to avoid crippling two hometown championship contenders.

Kill this mandate, Mr. Mayor: The city needs its swagger back.



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