New York’s Star Players Face This Tough Decision Ahead of Opening Day
For months, the talk of the town in New York City for sports fans, has been the status of Brooklyn Nets' guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving was excused from the team at the beginning of the season, following his decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Irving was invited back to the team midway through the season, but has yet to suit up in a game at home, due to the on-going vaccine mandate in the city.
Though vaccine and mask mandates across the country are being dropped, the NYC mandate still exists, and now, a number of professional baseball players in New York are being pressed with a very difficult decision.
The Impact of the Vaccine Mandate on New York Baseball
As it stands, all unvaccinated players on the New York Yankees and New York Mets will not be allowed to play in games at home. Out of a 162-game season, 81 of them will be played at home, at Yankee Stadium for the Yankees, and Citi Field for the Mets.
Because both of those stadiums are held under the umbrella of the private sector, they are still subject to the city's vaccine mandate. Public sectors, however, are no longer subject to the mandate in question.
Though it's hard to confirm exactly who is, and is not, vaccinated with the Yankees and Mets, we know that there are still a few. Aaron Judge was not vaccinated last season, and because the mandate didn't go into effect until December, was allowed to play all season.
While we can't confirm either way, he had a fairly evasive answer to the question earlier this week:
I don't want to assume anything, but that was anything but a confirmation of vaccination from No. 99.
Reports from NJ.com also suggested that the Yankees currently have two unvaccinated players in their midst, but did not identify either of them. There is no confirmation on the Mets' side, either, but if we follow the "bread crumbs" of information laid out last year, a few players appear as possibly being unvaccinated.
Take this, for example, from the New York Daily News:
"Multiple Mets leaned on 'personal choice' rhetoric when asked directly about the vaccine last year, including JD Davis [and] James McCann." - NY Daily News
There is still a chance that both of these gentlemen got the shot over the offseason. That being said, there is still an equal chance that they did not, and we'll have to wait until Opening Day on April 7th, to find out either way.
More to come, as more updates become available.