Tennis Champion Novak Djokovic Would Rather Sacrifice Trophies Than Be Forced To Take The Covid Vaccine

By Gina Florio··  4 min read
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Novak Djokovic

Even if you're not a tennis fan, you've probably heard about Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia when he flew to Melbourne to defend his 2022 Australian Open title. The tennis legend sat down for an interview with BBC to talk about what really happened in Australia, and what his true thoughts are about the coronavirus vaccine.

34-year-old Novak Djokovic is the number one ranked tennis player in the men's division. He has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments and he almost made history in 2021 by winning all four Grand Slams in a calendar year. This hasn't been done since 1969 by Rod Laver, and Djokovic was only one tournament away from achieving the feat last year but lost to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final in September 2021.

Novak Djokovic Refused to Take the Covid Vaccine

In January 2022, Djokovic and his team traveled to Australia to prepare for the Australian Open in Melbourne. They had obtained the proper immigration paperwork and even was granted a medical exemption to play in the tournament, as Djokovic already had coronavirus and he didn't want or need to take the vaccine.

After much back and forth, the Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, used his discretionary power to deport Djokovic and cancel his visa even though a judge previously ruled that he could enter the country. What was Hawke's reasoning? It wasn't because the tennis star was unvaccinated. It wasn't because he would pose a health threat to the Australian people or other tennis players. It was because Djokovic's mere presence in the country could incite dissent and "civil unrest," which would allegedly encourage Australian to refuse the vaccine (even though over 90% of the country is already vaccinated). This detail is extremely important, as it proves that the vaccine mandates aren't actually about health at the end of the day.

Djokovic never made any claims about the vaccine's efficiency.

Djokovic never made any claims about the vaccine's efficiency. He never instructed people to take it or not take it. All he did was make a personal choice for himself and his health—and it's this very personal autonomy that is a threat to the tyrannical leaders who are orchestrating the coronavirus mandates.

Novak Djokovic Spoke Out For the First Time About His Deportation

In an exclusive interview with BBC, Djokovic sat down and opened up about the controversy in order to set the record straight once and for all.

"I was never against vaccination," Djokovic said. "But I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."

He said he received vaccines as a child and that he's never been opposed to vaccines in general—and he's certainly never been "anti-vax"—but he simply refuses to be coerced into taking a vaccine that he doesn't need as he already has the coronavirus antibodies.

"I was never against vaccination. But I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."

"I was never against vaccination," Djokovic reiterated. "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."

He made it clear that he's willing to risk tournament winnings, championships, and trophies. "Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else," he said. "I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can."

These are not just words to Djokovic. In fact, he showed that actions speak louder than words by refusing to get jabbed for the Australian Open: he lost the chance to make history by not competing in this tournament. Prior to the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne, Djokovic was tied with tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most men's Grand Slam titles ever won. He was a heavy favorite to win the Australian Open, as he is the number one player on the tour and was looking very strong and physically prepared for the tournament. By refusing to be coerced into getting vaccinated, he lost the chance to win his 21st Grand Slam title—and Nadal instead made it to the finals and won. Now Nadal holds the highest number of Grand Slam titles ever won.

"I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can."

Djokovic knew exactly what he was risking when he refused to be vaccinated. And yet he still responded with grace when Nadal won. In an Instagram post he wrote, "Congratulations to @rafaelnadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time."

Some may think that Djokovic is just another athlete who is grasping for attention, but if you really take a step back and look at the landscape of the coronavirus pandemic, it's clear to see that Djokovic is one of the few elite athletes who is more than willing to risk fame and money in order to maintain bodily autonomy and fight for what really matters—liberty.

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