Several high-profile athletes have expressed their opposition to mandatory vaccination policies and have openly refused to get the COVID-19 jab for different reasons, despite various vaccines being available at the time being.
There are some athletes, such as the boxer Floyd Mayweather who appeal to individual freedom and others such as tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas who simply refuse to state whether they have been vaccinated or not.
“Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities,” Mayweather recently wrote on Twitter.
“America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us.”
Tennis No.1 Novak Djokovic
The Serbian tennis superstar expressed his unease on the labels being put on people according to whether they’ve decided to get vaccinated or not.
“There is a lot of division in society, not only in sports, but in the whole of society, between those who have not been vaccinated and have been vaccinated,” Djokovic said a few weeks ago.
“And that’s really scary. That we fell for discriminating against someone if he wants to decide for himself one way or another, whether he wants to be vaccinated or not.”
Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas
According to a survey, just 50 percent of tennis players have received the jab, with Thiem having been reportedly banned from attending the Vienna Open due to being unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, Tsitsipas appears to have changed his mind after stressing during the US Open that he shouldn’t be forced to get the jab. The Greek tennis star recently claimed that he will get vaccinated by the end of the year.
The Bayern Munich midfielder has recently admitted that he has not received the COVID-19 vaccine, as he wants to find out whether the jabs cause any issues or side effects.
Meanwhile, in Italy reports revealed that over 10 percent of footballers are not vaccinated, and in England there are cases such as that of West Bromwich Albion striker Callum Robinson, who has contracted COVID-19 twice and yet still refuses to get the jab.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard has recently sparked controversy due to his refusal to get the vaccine, and he was recently banned by his team from playing in the NBA season until he is vaccinated.
In the NBA, there are also cases of players such as Michael Porter Jr. and Bradley Beal, who have been reluctant over getting the COVID-19 jab but have not revealed whether they have been vaccinated or not.