Former Major League Baseball players John Smoltz and Al Leiter will cease making in-studio MLB Network appearances after declining to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the New York Post.
The outlet reported that MLBN has required all employees to get vaccinated and that this mandate is slated to go into effect on Sept. 1. Smoltz and Leiter will make media appearances remotely, just not in the studios, according to the Post.
"MLBN has made it mandatory for all employees to be vaccinated, with the mandate going into effect Sept. 1. MLBN executives, Smoltz and Leiter made a compromise to keep them on-the-air, but not in the Secaucus studios. They will both appear remotely for the shows," according to the outlet. "Smoltz will also still call a Division Series game on site in October. The two are regular in-studio analysts for the network."
The news comes as businesses and governments around the U.S. seek to navigate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with some choosing to mandate vaccination.
While many Americans have already received one of the three vaccines currently available in the U.S., others have refrained from taking a shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61.4% of the U.S. population 12 and older has been fully vaccinated, while 72.2% in that demographic have received at least one dose.
Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine secured the agency's approval for use in people ages 16 and older. This marked the first vaccine to secure full approval from the FDA.
"The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age," the FDA noted.