Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic defeated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon on Sunday to win his 21st Grand Slam title.
Unfortunately, unless an exception is made to the Biden administration’s order to ban non-U.S. citizens who are unvaccinated against the coronavirus from entering the country, Djokovic will be a no-show at next month’s U.S. Open in New York.
Broadcasting from Wimbledon with his ESPN colleague, Chris Fowler, retired tennis great John McEnroe called the situation “ridiculous.”
“These politicians are getting their way too much. They did it in Australia. Let’s let the guy come in and play in the U.S. I mean, come on. This is ridiculous,” McEnroe said after Djokovic’s victory.
“But I don’t make those decisions,” he said. “I hope that someone makes the right one and allows him to play. That’s my personal opinion.”
John McEnroe on Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic’s vaccine status hindering his ability to play more tournaments:
“These politicians are getting their way too much. They did in Australia. Let the guy come in and play in the U.S. I mean, come on. This is ridiculous.” pic.twitter.com/oOj8aC6Tsr
— The Recount (@therecount) July 10, 2022
According to Fox News, McEnroe added, “You can agree to be tested. I don’t know. There’s gotta be a way around this, but we’ll wait and see. That’s not what it’s about right now,” he added.
After losing a legal challenge to play in January’s Australian Open despite his unvaccinated status, Djokovic was deported from the country.
He addressed the vaccine issue during a news conference on June 25 at the All England Tennis Club leading up to Wimbledon. He was asked if he had made any arrangements with the U.S. government to be allowed to play in the U.S. Open.
“As of today, I am not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances,” Djokovic said. “Yes, of course, I am aware of that and that is an extra motivation to do well here, so hopefully I can have a very good tournament as I have done in the last three editions.”
“Then I’ll just have to wait and see. I would love to go to the States. But, as of today, that is not possible. There’s not much I can do anymore. It’s really up to the U.S. government to make a decision whether or not they allow unvaccinated people to go into the country.”
One thing he will not do is get vaccinated.
Following his victory on Sunday, Djokovic told reporters, “I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated.”
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) July 11, 2022
McEnroe, who is almost as famous for his temper as he is for winning tennis championships, is absolutely correct about this being ridiculous — for two reasons.
Even when the numbers of U.S. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths hit their highest levels, the Biden administration continued to allow illegal immigrants to pour into the country regardless of their vaccination status. For most of that time, “asylum seekers” were given the choice of whether to get vaccinated.
In January, Axios reported, “The White House is considering requiring migrants aged 5 and older to receive a coronavirus vaccination as a condition for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to await court hearings.” The key word is “considering.”
On March 28, The New York Times reported that the Biden administration would be requiring “some undocumented migrants” to be vaccinated.” (Emphasis added.)
The other reason McEnroe is right is that COVID-19 has now reached endemic status in the United States. It’s here to stay, and Americans are finding ways to protect themselves against it to the extent it is possible and to treat it should they become infected.
Kudos to McEnroe for calling out Australian and U.S. politicians for overplaying their hands.
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