Djokovic says he would skip French Open, Wimbledon instead of getting vaccinated
Top-ranked men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic said that he would skip the French Open and Wimbledon this year if they require vaccination against COVID-19, according to an interview with BBC.
Djokovic spoke to BBC on Tuesday, stating he is still unvaccinated and plans to remain that way, even if it means foregoing major tennis competitions.
Missing competitions and foregoing defending his titles are “the price that I am willing to pay,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic, who has been treated as a hero by the anti-vaccine community after he was denied entry into Australia last month for the Australian Open, stated that he is not part of that movement, but thinks people should have the “freedom” to choose what is “appropriate for them.”
“Everyone has the right to choose, to act, or say what ever they feel is appropriate for them,” Djokovic said, adding he thinks everyone should have “the freedom to choose what you put into your body. And, for me, that is essential.”
“Based on all the information that I got, I decided not to take the vaccine, as of today. I understand the consequences of my decision,” Djokovic said to the BBC. “I understand that not being vaccinated today, you know, I am unable to travel to most of the tournaments at the moment.”
Djokovic also addressed the controversy in Australia.
“What people probably don’t know is that I was not deported from Australia on the basis that I was not vaccinated, or I broke any rules or that I made an error in my visa declaration,” Djokovic said.
“The reason why I was deported from Australia was because the minister for immigration used his discretional right to cancel my visa based on his perception that I might create some anti-vaxx sentiment in the country or in the city, which I completely disagree with.”