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New York City’s police union says Mayor Eric Adams‘ decision to let athletes and performing artists work in the city without showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination should be extended to officers and other public employees who have been fired for not being vaccinated.

The city's Police Benevolent Association said the Democratic mayor’s policy reversal, which will let Brooklyn Nets’ star Kyrie Irving play in home games for the first time, imposes a double standard in the city because mandates on municipal workers and other private-sector employees will remain, the Washington Times reports.

“We have been suing the city for months over its arbitrary and capricious vaccine mandate — this is exactly what we’re talking about. If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting the city in the middle of a crime crisis,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said. “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.”

Adams defended the changes at Citi Field, home to the New York Mets, ahead of Major League Baseball’s opening games in early April. He said the move will attract tourism and have trickle-down benefits for working-class people who help ballparks and performance halls operate.

Pressed on the roughly 1,400 municipal workers, including law enforcement officers, who refused to be vaccinated and were fired, Adams focused instead on the larger share of public workers who chose to get vaccinated and said the city is not entertaining compensation or changes to the rules.

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