Novak Djokovic Clarifies Stance On COVID Vaccine


Novak Djokovic, the tennis superstar who recently won his 24th major championship at the U.S. Open, is speaking out about his controversial stance on the COVID vaccine. Despite being turned away from multiple tournaments due to his refusal to get vaccinated, Djokovic insists that he is not an anti-vaxxer.

Key Takeaway

Novak Djokovic wants to clarify that he was never anti-vax, but rather pro-freedom-to-choose. He felt that people were being forced into getting the vaccine without having a say in the matter. Djokovic believes that his refusal to get vaccinated was not about the effectiveness of the vaccine, but about the lack of choice.

The Misconception

In an interview with tennis legend John McEnroe on the show “McEnroe’s Places,” Djokovic explained that his issue with the COVID vaccine was not about its effectiveness, but rather how it was being imposed on people without choice. He clarified, “I was never anti-vax. I was always pro-freedom-to-choose. And that’s something that we took really for granted. I didn’t feel like a lot of people had a choice, really.”

The Perception

Djokovic went on to express how he felt like a “villain of the world” during the height of vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. All he wanted was to compete and play tennis, which he believes is his greatest skill. Despite not being vaccinated against COVID, Djokovic has dominated the 2023 season, reclaiming his place as the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player in the world.

Despite the controversy surrounding his unvaccinated status, Djokovic recently received support from prominent figures such as former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. They were seen courtside at the U.S. Open, cheering him on during his matches.

The full interview with Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe, as well as the rest of the season of “McEnroe’s Places,” can be watched on ESPN+.