Novak Djokovic has reiterated his stance on vaccination, even in the full knowledge that, as things stand, it will prevent him from playing the US Open.
US Open bosses have confirmed that they will not seek an exemption from the government to allow unvaccinated players into the country.
That means that, as things stand, Djokovic will be unable to play.
It was something he was quizzed on in his pre-Wimbledon press conference, and he was clear that his resolve not to be forced into a vaccination he does not trust will not change - and it certainly won't distract him in SW19.
Asked if he had 'completely closed his mind' to getting vaccinated Djokovic replied: “Yes.
“As of today I'm not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances. Yes, of course, I'm aware of that. That is an extra motivation to do well here.
“Hopefully I can have a very good tournament, as I have done in the last three editions. Then I'll just have to wait and see. I would love to go to the States. But as of today, that's not possible.
“There is not much I can do any more. I mean, it's really up to the US government to make a decision whether or not they allow unvaccinated people to go into the country.”
Author's comment: This is one of those where journalists persist with asking the question and then seem to complain that Djokovic is the one who is allowing the narrative to continue by not getting vaccinated.
The fact is, Djokovic has said all he needs to say on this now and probably more than he should have to. We know his views and we know he is willing to miss majors to stand by them. It's fair enough.
It feels like an enormous double standard now that, while the world condemns America for making abortions illegal based upon the completely reasonable principle that everyone should have the right make their own decisions when it comes to their own bodies, there is continued pressure applied to someone to take a vaccine they do not want, as well as judgement when they don't.
It's probably time we all simply accepted Djokovic's decision with at least a degree of grace until he decides to tell us otherwise.
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