Novak Djokovic, the world men’s Number 1 tennis player, has broken his silence on his vaccination status and confirmed he would sacrifice his career, rather than get a covid jab.
Djokovic spoke to BBC correspondent Amol Rajan in an interview that aired on BBC Tuesday. Djokovic said that he would rather forego future tennis titles than be forced to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam winner tennis star, said that he is not an anti-vaxxer, but is prepared to miss the French Open and Wimbledon if they require participants to be vaccinated rather than have a COVID-19 vaccination.
He said missing competitions, such as the French Open, over his jab status was “the price that I’m willing to pay” in his first interview since his failed attempt to play at the Australian Open. Djokovic was deported from Australia last month after the government canceled his visa over his vaccine status. (See details below).
Djokovic also confirmed he was willing to forego the chance to become statistically the greatest male tennis player of all time because he felt so strongly. Djokovic’s rival, Rafael Nadal, has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles – the most of any male competitor.
Asked why, Djokovic replied: “Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.”
“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,” Djokovic added, BBC reported.
“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” told BBC in the interview.
"That is the price that I'm willing to pay"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 15, 2022
Djokovic’s strong stance speaks volumes when he could be the greatest player of all-time statistically.
Djokovic said he should not be associated with the anti-vax movement, but supported an individual’s right to choose.
Amol Rajan reflects why Djokovic chose to speak to the BBC in the video tweeted below.
Novak Djokovic has broken his silence on his vaccination status and confirmed he would sacrifice his career, rather than get a covid jab.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) February 15, 2022
“I am grateful for the opportunity to answer questions from @amolrajan and set the record straight. Watch the full interview today at 8.30 pm GMT on @BBC1 in the UK and BBC World.” Djokovic said in a tweet.
“Thank you to my fans who supported me over the past few weeks. I appreciate your patience,” he said in a follow-up tweet:
Thank you to my fans who supported me over the past few weeks. I appreciate your patience 🙏🏼
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 15, 2022
Djokovic is no stranger to being in the spotlight for remaining unvaccinated, as 100 Percent Fed Up reported on January 14, 2022.
BREAKING: Authoritarian Australia Ignores FACTS About Natural Immunity…And How Vaccinated People Are Spreading COVID…Cancels Unvaccinated Djokovic’s Visa…Won’t Allow Him To Defend Australian Open Title
Many suspected Djokovic would not be allowed to play at the Australian Open until Tennis Australia revealed that he had been granted a medical exemption. However, despite the medical exemption, after flying to Australia to defend his title at the Australian Open, the (unvaccinated) world-famous tennis player Novak Djokovic was locked down inside a hotel that was currently being used as a detention facility on the Australian border in Melbourne.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed Djokovic was denied entry into Australia because of an issue with his visa.
After being held inside a poorly-kept facility that houses asylum seekers and refugees, Djokovic finally received a federal judge’s ruling that his visa would be reinstated and he could stay in Australia for the tournament.
After being released into the country, Djokovic expressed his gratitude in a Tweet, writing, “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete”.
“For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen
I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
Despite winning his legal case in the federal courts against the Australian government, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke unilaterally canceled his visa three days before the Australian Open was set to begin.
The official statement from Alex Hawke is available here.
Djokovic released a statement on January 12, 2022 to address misinformation.
STATEMENT BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC
12 January 2022https://t.co/qhreHUYlQ8
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 12, 2022
“Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can,” the tennis star said.
Djokovic may not statistically show up as the greatest men’s tennis player in history. Still, he will go down in history as a hero to individuals worldwide fighting for the right to choose whether or not they accept the jab.