Last Updated on July 26, 2022
Unvaccinated tennis champion Novak Djokovic will be forced to sit out the sport’s US Open, which will begin next month, as he is barred from entering the United States under Joe Biden’s COVID rules, which set vaccine mandates for non-citizens entering the country. The news comes on the heels of Djokovic’s Wimbledon championship, after which he stated that he was hoping for “good news” regarding his US Open status but maintained that he would not accept the COVID-19 jab in order to play.
The US Open has confirmed that it will not challenge or seek exemptions from federal COVID mandates barring unvaccinated non-citizens from entering the country, forcing Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, one of the sport’s top players, to sit out the grand slam event. In addition to the US Open, Djokovic has already had to forego tournaments in Miami and California due to his unvaccinated status and will be barred from the upcoming Cincinnati Masters as well, a tournament he’s already won twice.
Djokovic, who received a hero’s welcome in his home country’s capital city of Belgrade after winning at England’s Wimbledon, has made international headlines since refusing to take the COVID jab, even being detained in Australia earlier this year and barred from competing in the Australian Open under that nation’s Draconian COVID restrictions. That event caused an international uproar surrounding medical freedom and Djokovic was ultimately deported and banned from Australia.
Though Djokovic hasn’t spoken much with reporters surrounding his personal medical status, he did remark after winning at Wimbledon he is “not planning to get vaccinated,” even if it negatively affects his tennis career. Lately, he has held true to that statement, refusing to take the shot to play in the New York-based US Open.
The barring of Novak Djokovic from the US due to being unvaccinated has presented a peculiar situation when compared to other nations, as America’s southern border is wide open, and the Biden Administration is welcoming a constant stream of unvaccinated illegal migrants. Just last year, Border Patrol agents encountered over 2 million illegal migrants on America’s border with Mexico, a record-setting number.
Apart from tennis, vaccine mandates have had a wide-reaching negative impact on the world of sports, particularly in baseball, where multiple players have been unable to travel with their teams to Canada to play games against the Toronto Blue Jays. Major League Baseball’s highest-paid catcher, JT Realmuto, recently made headlines when he refused to accept the jab to travel to Toronto, forfeiting an estimated $262,000 in the process by sitting out the series.
“I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money. It’s just not worth it,” Realmuto said at the time, going on to tell media that he had COVID a couple of times and [experienced] super mild symptoms back when it first came out.”
Across the sports aisle, Golden State Warriors basketball star Andrew Wiggins recently opened up to a FanSided interviewer and expressed regrets about having accepted the jab in order to play in San Francisco, despite posting an all-star season and winning the NBA championship.
“I still wish I didn’t get it, to be honest with you,” Wiggins told FanSided.