Tennis legend John McEnroe slammed the United States’ requirements on travellers, which are effectively prohibiting Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic from competing in the U.S. open.
The upcoming grand slam tournament will allow unvaccinated Americans to participate in the competition, but Djokovic will not be able to go because the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for air travel requires that anyone traveling to the U.S. must show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the country.
In a comment to reporters, McEnroe stated that the Serbian athlete was being unfairly treated:
I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s a joke.
I would have had the vaccine and gone and played but he’s got very strong beliefs and you have to respect that.
“At this point, in the pandemic, we’re two-and-a-half years in, I think people in all parts of the world know more about it, and the idea that he can’t travel here to play, to me is a joke,” said McEnroe, the Daily Mail reported.
Although Djokovic is yet to officially withdraw from the tournament, he is unlikely to play when the tournament begins next week.
McEnroe said that the unfair treatment that Djokovic has faced has damaged his career and allowed his rival Rafa Nadal to come ahead.
Djokovic says he does not want to risk traveling to the United States as he might experience a repeat of his treatment by authorities in Australia.
Djokovic was deported by Australian immigration authorities for his refusal to get the jab.