By Avyay Aggarwal, Grade 6
With twenty Grand Slams, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is one grand slam away from breaking Federer and Nadal’s record. The recent Australian open provided a perfect opportunity for him. However, Djokovic was banned from participating as he was unvaccinated. The Australian government said that his unvaccinated status “may be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by others in Australia."
In the two weeks leading up to the Australian Open, Djokovic’s visa was canceled on many occasions. When he finally entered the country, a panel of three judges ruled in favor of the Australian government, forcing him out of the country and hence, the tournament.
This ban has divided sports fans. Many people are criticizing Djokovic for being irresponsible during the pandemic which has killed millions. “Goodbye Novak Djokovic. You are a great tennis player… please come back to Australia when you’re double vaxxed against COVID. You’ll be most welcome. It’s not much to ask in a global pandemic which is killing millions and disrupting all hospital systems,” said QuentinDempster on twitter.
However, many of Djokovic’s supporters are saying that Djokovic’s unvaccinated status is not a health hazard. “Djokovic cannot visit Aust for 3 years. We are the only country that thinks it’s ok to lock out the No. 1 tennis player on the brink of being the best in the world, not because he’s a health risk, but because he ‘might’ make the 90+% of its citizens already vaxxed not get a booster.”
This disagreement proves that perspective and situation matter especially when discussing something as subjective as a safe environment.