Covid-19 rules regarding the vaccination of players are pretty stringent and have become a topic of debate. First Kyrie Irving and now Novak Djokovic. Kyrie did not follow the vaccination rules and as of now, he is not playing for the Brooklyn Nets.
Sports personnel are required to be vaccinated. After that, they have to go through stringent testing and protocol. The Serbian International Novak Djokovic also opposes the mandate as conveyed by his father to the Serbian Press.
The Organizers of the year’s first Grand Slam have a strict vaccination policy. All 17 players must be vaccinated to participate in the tournament. Djokovic on the other hand has still not disclosed his vaccination status.
If the situation remains the same the World Number one will not be participating in the upcoming tournament. This may end up being a big boost to Rafael Nadal who is participating in the tournament.
Roger Federer is out due to knee surgery. This makes Nadal one of the top prospects to win it all. Djokovic has won 9 Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park. His absence will certainly be a disappointment for tennis fans all around the world.
The general perception of vaccines is good given they help in stopping the Covid-19 outbreak. However the timing of when or if an individual wants the vaccine ultimately should be their decision.
Djokovic’s father believes this policy is equivalent to blackmail
Srdjan Djokovic has openly spoken to the Serbian Media about his thoughts on the matter. “As far as vaccines and non-vaccines are concerned, it is the personal right of each of us whether we will be vaccinated or not. No one has the right to enter into our intimacy,”.
This is also the concern of other players around the world. If you are not following the vaccination rules you cannot play. The players aren’t receiving any pay too as they have decided to not follow the mandate.
“Under these, blackmails and conditions, [Djokovic] probably won’t [play]. I wouldn’t do that. And he’s my son, so you decide for yourself.” This was his father’s statement as per reports from the Guardian.
Although the player remains quiet on the subject. Djokovic does not have any public appearance since his father’s statement. For him, it would be missing out on a huge opportunity.
The Serbian Star shares the record of holding 20 Grand Slam titles to his name. This can be the 21st title if he decides to change his mind. However, there is no urgency as he will still have further opportunities.
Looking at it as fans we may see the sports personnel on the wrong side of this. However, vaccinations do affect the body and can impact the rhythm of training. This can be a key factor in Djokovic’s decision.