Novak Djokovic ‘willing’ to sacrifice trophies than get Covid vaccine

February 16, 2022

Novak Djokovic has said he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced to get a Covid vaccine. In an interview with BBC, Novak Djokovic, the 34-year-old world No 1 said he is willing to skip the French Open and Wimbledon over his stance, but said he is not part of the anti-vax movement, insisting he supports the “freedom to choose”.
The world No 1. was deported from Australia last month and missed the Australian Open after seeing his visa cancelled.
The Serbian revealed he was not vaccinated against Covid-19 during the saga, but in his first interview since leaving Australia the 34-year-old said he should not be associated with the anti-vax movement – but rather someone who supports the “freedom to choose”.
“I was never against vaccinations,” he said. “I understand that globally everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus. And hopefully soon there’ll be an end to this virus.
“And vaccination is probably the biggest effort that was made on behalf of the planet, and I fully respect that. But I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put into your body, and for me that’s essential.
The men’s World No 1 tennis player said he kept an “open mind” but he was prepared for the consequences of his decision not to get vaccinated.
“The consequence of my decision was not going to Australia, and I was prepared not to go. And I understand not being vaccinated today, I’m unable to travel to most of the tournaments at the moment … and that is the price I’m willing to pay.”
Asked by the BBC’s Amol Rajan whether he was ready to risk the chance of becoming the greatest tennis player statistically over his views, Djokovic replied: “Yes, I do”.
He added: “Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else”.
However, the star denied association with ‘anti-vaxxers’, saying: “I have never said I am part of that movement. No-one during the whole Australian process and saga has asked me for my stance and my opinion on vaccination, no-one, so I could not express what I really feel”.

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