Novak Djokovic was willing to pay the price for not taking the COVID vaccine, that is, give up the chance of becoming the greatest player by missing out on the French Open and the Wimbledon.
In an interview with the BBC, Novak said, “…the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.”
Two government think tanks on COVID on Monday admitted to multiple side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines that were given to billions worldwide.
This admission came from the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) in a reply to an RTI.
It gives credence to the statements of Novak and many other individuals – one of them India’s respected advocate Prashant Bhushan – who have been questioning the rationale of pressing for vaccines before they passed rigorous testing.
Here is a great sportsman who has inspired millions the world over with his performance on the court. Novak for many is a catalyst of great emotions, and apart from being entertaining, he has helped tennis reach parts of the world it never had before.
And his interview with the BBC is an indicator that there is more to sport than just glory, and that is self-respect. Money is not all there is to life.
Novak’s statement is proof that players are well able to think for themselves and take a stand on matters concerning their own bodies.
The world was brought to its knees during the pandemic, and many or most were made to believe that the way forward was through the vaccine. First, it was two doses, and the boosters followed later.
Many were initially hesitant and that hesitancy was brushed away with travel restrictions put in place thus forcing most to take the jab.
There were doctors who took the jabs and yet contracted COVID, and there were doctors who never took the jab – just like Novak – and continued attending patients.
But, when it came to taking the booster doses, most doctors opted out and so did lay people.
Despite there being no conclusive scientific evidence about the adverse effects of the vaccines, many have been left worried.
Novak must have lost millions, because of the tournaments he had to forego, due to his refusal to take the vaccine.
But his decision, based on the fact that the vaccine was rushed and fell short of satisfying all scientific parameters, took priority.
Man needs to base his life choices on an understanding of the negative or positive consequences that might follow.
Everything else is relatively immaterial. Novak has to be respected for the firm stance taken by him. His steadfastness must at least be admired, whatever your personal views may be.
However, there are many who have ridiculed or will still ridicule him for his utterances. For many, he could have been the carrier of death, since he was allowed to travel without the vaccine.
And for others, a star, for telling the world he was not taking the jab because he was not sure of its efficacy.
Novak was not speaking about what others should do. His focus was his own way forward.
As a star, Novak has a following of his own, and for sure many followers must have had second thoughts about taking the jab or going ahead with booster shots.
Many took jabs due to the fear psychosis spread using a veil of deceit, and many are opting not to take the booster shots because the veil has been cast off. Whatever the outcome, it was good that a sportsman broke the taboo.