World number one Novak Djokovic caused a stir with his anti-vaxxer comments he recently made during a live Facebook chat. Djokovic expressed his reservations against the idea of making a Coronavirus vaccination mandatory for sportspersons competing on the Tennis circuit. He expressed his views during the live chat with other Serbian athletes on Sunday. However, the top-ranked Serb later said he may reconsider his stance following receiving strong backlash from all quarters. Also Read - Coronavirus: With 2,287 New Cases Maharashtra at 72,300; Gujarat Reaches 17,632 With 415 Fresh Cases
The 32-year-old said he is ‘opposed to vaccination’ and advocates for natural healing instead of anything else. ’’Personally I am opposed to the vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be able to travel. But if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it or not. This is my current feeling, and I don’t know if it will change, but it really influences my profession,” Djokovic said in a statement. Also Read - Bangladesh Records First COVID-19 Death in Rohingya Refugee Camp
Djokovic, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, was speaking with a group of Serbian players when he made the comment. He is currently staying in Spain with his wife, Jelena, and their two children during the lockdown. Also Read - Coronavirus: Nepal Records Highest Single-day Spike With 288 Fresh Cases
In a statement released Monday, Djokovic declined to address the issue of whether he is totally against the idea of vaccines in general. He focussed his opposition on the issue of whether the COVID-19 vaccination, which has not been developed yet, would be necessary to travel or not.
However, Djokovic has shown intent for exploring some options other than vaccinations but did not rule out the possibility of accepting one.
“I am no expert, but I do want to have an option to choose what’s best for my body,” he said. “I am keeping an open mind, and I’ll continue to research on this topic because it is important and it will affect all of us,” the world number one added.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all tennis tournaments have been cancelled till mid-July. Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II (1945), including the French Open, which was scheduled to be the next Grand Slam tournament, in May.
Djokovic is also known for his spiritualism. He had earlier sought the advice of a quantum healer – a practitioner of a controversial form of medicine that relies on quantum physics to diagnose ailments – as he was unsatisfied with popular medicine.