Novak Djokovic, who a judge ordered on Monday to be released from the detention center where he had been placed in Australia due to a mess around his visa, is not the only sportsman to have been skeptical of the regard to the anti-covid vaccine.
■ Aaron Rodgers
The iconic quarterback of the Green Bay Packers football team has been one of the main voices against vaccination from the sports world in the United States. Criticized after a positive test, Rodgers, 38, has been enjoying the role of a victim of the “mafia woke” and “cancel culture”. Prior to that, the 2011 Super Bowl winner said he was “immune” after seeking alternative treatment, claiming that two of the available vaccines contained an unspecified ingredient he was allergic to and that a third he claimed caused in “Multiple people” many “side effects.”
■ Joshua Kimmich
If Rodgers did not suffer unduly from the coronavirus despite his refusal to be vaccinated, the German international Joshua Kimmich was not so lucky when he contracted it at the end of November. The 26-year-old Bayern Munich star suffered lung injuries that kept him from playing until January. He sparked anger when he revealed in October that he was opposed to vaccination for “personal reasons”. “I thought I could protect myself from the virus if I followed all the rules and if I did tests regularly,” he said.
Stranger still, in 2020, he founded with his teammate Leon Goretzka the “We kick corona” initiative by funding vaccination campaigns and charity projects. However, he ended up making an appointment for a vaccination admitting “that it would have been better to do it earlier”.
■ Bryson DeChambeau
With Covid costing him his seat at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, the normally muscular US Open 2020 golf winner revealed he had lost 4.5 pounds due to the virus, but he was still not convinced of the value of being vaccinated. “The vaccine does not necessarily prevent contamination,” the 28-year-old American player told US media in August.
“I’m quite young, I prefer to give it to people who need it. I am a young and healthy individual who will continue to work on his health ”. Dechambeau, whose parents are vaccinated, said he would consider imitating them, if he felt a new vaccine met his criteria.
■ Kyrie Irving
One of the stars of the Brooklyn Nets is back on the floors of the NBA after spending the first two months of the season on the sidelines due to his refusal to be vaccinated. The 29-year-old playmaker assured that his much-criticized decision was not due to his opposition to the vaccination as a whole, but that it was simply a personal decision.
“I am not the lawyer of any camp,” he explained in October. “I’m doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences and if it means that I will be judged and demonized for it, so be it ”. Irving, NBA champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, can only play away matches, however, because as long as he is not vaccinated, he cannot play at home due to the health rules of the State of New York.
■ Tennys Sandgren
Unlike Djokovic, the 30-year-old American hasn’t even tried to get a medical exemption for the Australian Open (January 17-30). Sandgren, who has reached the quarter-finals twice in Melbourne, nowhere near the world No.1’s nine singles titles, said he did not qualify for one. “I don’t have quite the same influence,” Sandgren mocked, before Djokovic’s mishap when he arrived in Melbourne.
However, once the Serb was detained at the airport, he was scathing towards the position of the Australian authorities. “Two separate medical boards approved his exemption. And the politicians stop him. Australia does not deserve to host a Grand Slam tournament, ”he tweeted.