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NEW YORK, N.Y. (PIX11) — Former municipal workers who were fired over the city’s vaccine mandate are speaking out after Mayor Eric Adams announced new vaccine exceptions for professional athletes and performers. 

“It’s really highly offensive,” fired, unvaccinated former teacher Michael Kane told PIX11 News. 

Unvaccinated teacher Rachel Maniscalco said, “It is an absolute joke and it’s a slap in the face to everyone like myself who worked during the pandemic.”

Adams announced unvaccinated professional athletes can work in the city just as the Brooklyn Nets are fighting for a spot in the NBA playoffs and the Yankees are preparing to start their season. Nets star Kyrie Irving is not vaccinated. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has not answered questions about his vaccination status.

“You may consider this a double standard. I consider it an analysis that I made and I’m comfortable with my decision,” Adams said during a press conference Friday.

Kane is organizing a rally next week calling on the mayor to reinstate municipal workers who were fired over the city’s vaccine mandate. Kane said he remains optimistic that Adams will change the city’s vaccine rules again soon and he’ll be able to return to his old job.