Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic’s name has been in the headlines after he was deported from Australia last month as the government cancelled his visa on the grounds of his vaccine status.
In a statement, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said: “I exercised my power to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”
Djokovic expressed that he was “disappointed” by the decision made.
“I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open,” he said.
Since then, he’s shared his views on the future of tennis with the BBC, and said that even though he is not part of the ‘anti-vaxxers’ movement, he would rather miss out on trophies than be forced to take the COVID-19 jab.
“I was never against vaccination,” he told the BBC, “but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.”
Even though his Spanish opposition, Rafael Nadal, secured a record 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne last month, 34-year-old Djokovic says he will not defend his Wimbledon or French Open titles if the vaccination will be mandatory for competitors.
“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” Djokovic said when asked if he would sacrifice participating in the competitions.