SERBIAN TENNIS star Novak Djokovic has claimed that he he is willing to miss grand slams to avoid Covid vaccination
The tennis player missed the Australian open due to its strict rule of only allowing players with double jabs to compete. He was given permission by two medical boards to play and went down the legal route, won, but was deported by the Australian government soon after.
Now the 34-year-old says he will not defend his Wimbledon or French Open titles if the tournaments require mandatory vaccination for competitors like it did at the Australian Open.
His stance is based on his choice and freedom to decide rather than win more titles. He is currently on 20 titles and was overtaken by Rafael Nadal, who won his 21st at the Aussie Open.
Tennis Number one, Novak Djokovic told the BBC in an exclusive interview he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced to get a Covid vaccine.
Djokovic said he should not be associated with the anti-vax movement, but supported an individual's right to choose. pic.twitter.com/b0VBae5gRW
— Apex World News (@apexworldnews) February 15, 2022
Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, he said he wanted the freedom to choose if they want the job or not.
“That is the price that I’m willing to pay ,he said when asked about missing the French Open. He was also asked if Wimbledon would also be part of that, he said: “Yes.”
I say that everybody has the right to choose or act or say or feel whatever is appropriate for them.”
“I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.
I understand and fully support the freedom to choose … whether you want to get vaccinated or not, and I have not spoken about this before, and I have not disclosed my medical record and my vaccination status, because I had the right to keep that private and discreet.
“But as I see there are a lot of wrong conclusions and assumptions out there. It’s important to speak up about that and justify certain things.”
He also mentioned that he was not part of the anti-vaccination movement and did not want the label to be part of his choice.
“I have never said I’m part of that movement, he said
“It’s really unfortunate that there has been this kind of misconception and wrong conclusion based upon something that I completely disagree with,” he claimed
However the Serbian has not ruled out getting the jab in the future and is keeping an open mind towards it
“I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus.”
The tennis player thanked the broadcaster on twitter for allowing him to get his views out.
I am grateful for the opportunity to answer questions from @amolrajan and set the record straight. Watch the full interview today at 8.30pm GMT on @BBC1 in the UK and BBC World.
He is now set to play at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which begins next week on the 21st.
Dubai does not require travelers to to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and it is a tournament Djokovic has won five times.
I am grateful for the opportunity to answer questions from @amolrajan and set the record straight. Watch the full interview today at 8.30pm GMT on @BBC1 in the UK and BBC World.https://t.co/QkFH1p8GWJ
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 15, 2022