Thousands of tennis fans from all over the world flocked to the US Open in Queens, New York City to watch the best of the best tennis players face off for championships. But something, rather someone, was missing.
World tennis champion Novak Djokovic was unable to compete in the world class tournament of which he’s normally a fixture, because he refuses to get the COVID vaccine.
In a recent BBC interview, Novak explained that he’s willing to put his right to choose and his bodily sovereignty above everything else, including his lucrative professional tennis career.
“The principles of decision-making on my body are more important than tournaments or anything else,” he said.
Although the tournament, which is sponsored by U.S. government partner and mRNA vaccine manufacturer Moderna, drew massive crowds, some attendees still believed Novak should be there and that the supposed public health rules were unfair.
“I think that the pandemic is over and Novak needs to be here,” one US Open attendee said.
Michael Kane, a grassroots organizer and New York teacher who was fired because of his refusal to get the COVID vaccine, organized a rally at the US Open in support of Novak.
“You have nearly a dozen players competing in the US Open that are unvaccinated and also there are hundreds, probably thousands of people in attendance that are unvaccinated but the Wimbledon World Champion can’t come in? It’s ridiculous,” Kane said.