Novak Djokovic Concerned About Possible Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination For Athletes To Compete Again
As various major sports’ leagues across the world prepare for their seasons to resume after being postponed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, tennis star Novak Djokovic is concerned about the possibility of being required to be vaccinated before returning to action, as he disapproves of vaccines.
“Personally, I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel,” Djokovic said during a Facebook live chat on Sunday with Serbian athletes. “But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know. Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine, and there is no vaccine yet.”
In March, former No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player Amelie Mauresmo strongly suggested in a Twitter post that the sport couldn’t resume without a vaccine. Translated from French, Mauresmo tweeted, “International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the 4 corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis,” the former 2006 Wimbledon champion wrote.
Je crois qu’on va devoir tirer un trait sur la saison 2020 de tennis. Circuit international = des joueurs et joueuses de toutes nationalités plus les encadrements, spectateurs et les personnes venant des 4 coins du monde qui font vivre ces événements.
Pas de vaccin=pas de tennis
— AmelieMauresmo (@AmeMauresmo) March 31, 2020
Health officials had previously stated that a vaccine will probably not be available until 2021, which could mean no more tennis this year. Wimbledon has already been cancelled and the French Open was moved from late May to a September 20 start date. Djokovic started the 2020 season with a bang winning the Australian Open in January for his 17th Grand Slam title. He was also in the midst of a 18-match winning streak before the postponement of the sport, according to ESPN.