Tennis players want a choice when it comes to vaccination; Visits encourage him

When the United States Tennis Association announced on Friday that proof of coronavirus vaccination would be required for all spectators...


When the United States Tennis Association announced on Friday that proof of coronavirus vaccination would be required for all spectators aged 12 and over to enter the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, it created a wedge between spectators and the players they will be watching at the US Open.

Adults in the stands will now be about twice as likely to be vaccinated as players on the pitch: The WTA said “nearly 50%” of its players were vaccinated, while ATP said its vaccination rates were “just over 50%.”

Despite the possible consequences of not being vaccinated – illness, of course, but also the inability to play and make money – tennis players have been stubbornly slow to adopt, though many have lost their way. opportunity to play in major tournaments because of positive tests. While some players are openly skeptical of the need for a vaccine as a healthy youngster, some simply did not prioritize it.

French veteran Gilles Simon, who was disqualified from the US Open on Friday for “medical reasons”, confirmed in an interview with L’Equipe that he was withdrawn because he had not been vaccinated. Simon’s coach Etienne Laforgue tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in New York, and Simon was disqualified because he was considered “close contact”.

“I wasn’t against to the point of never getting vaccinated, I’m just saying I didn’t feel the need or the urge,” Simon told L’Equipe.

Simon would have remained eligible to participate in the tournament, with increased testing, had he been vaccinated.

“I’m not very scared of Covid, actually,” Simon said. “My basic philosophy is: ‘If you’re afraid of it, you get vaccinated; otherwise, no. ‘ It’s still a choice.

Simon must now self-isolate in his hotel room for 10 days, according to federal and New York City guidelines. Simon, 36, 103rd, regretted that his hotel room, where he will stay during what he admitted was his last US Open, lacks a great view.

“If your last memory of a US Open is 10 days in a room, that’s not the one you want to keep,” he said.

The most prominent tennis player to miss this year’s US Open due to a positive Covid test is fifth-ranked Sofia Kenin, who, despite disappointing results this year, remains the highest-ranked American in the world. ” one or the other round according to the classification system adjusted in the event of a pandemic. . Kenin said she tested positive despite her vaccination.

“Fortunately, I have been vaccinated so my symptoms have been quite mild,” she said.

Many tennis players have been able to take advantage of the on-site vaccination programs set up by the tournaments while traveling on tour. Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, whose native Australia has fallen behind in her vaccination rollout, was able to get the shot in April at a tournament in Charleston, SC. Before her, Barty made sure she didn’t cut in line.

“It was important to me knowing that those who were most vulnerable could get it first,” she said in April.

Simon’s claim that vaccination should remain a choice is supported by both circuits, even though they urge players to choose vaccination.

Other sports have been more successful in getting their athletes to shoot. The The WNBA said in June that 99% of its players have been vaccinated. The MLS Players Association said in July that it was approaching 95%. This week the The NFL announced he had achieved a player vaccination rate of almost 93 percent. Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, said in July that 90 percent of NBA players were vaccinated. Earlier this month, the NHL said its the player vaccination rate was 85 percent, and his union warned that unvaccinated players could lose their pay if they tested positive.

In tennis, where every player is an independent contractor, there is no players union to encourage unified behavior and no general manager or team owner to encourage vaccination for the competitive benefit of the team. However, other individual sports are still ahead of tennis: the PGA said earlier this month that its player vaccination rate was “above 70 percent.”

“While we respect everyone’s right to free choice, we also believe that every player has a role to play in helping the group at large achieve a safe level of immunity,” ATP said in a statement. “This will allow us to ease restrictions on site for the benefit of everyone on tour. “

The WTA said it “strongly believes in and encourages everyone to get vaccinated,” and has set a target for 85% of players to be vaccinated by the end of the year. But he currently does not require “that the players be vaccinated because it is a personal decision and which we respect”.

The third Stefanos Tsitsipas caused an uproar in his native Greece earlier this month after saying he would only get the shot if necessary to continue competing.

“I don’t see any reason for someone my age to do it,” said Tsitsipas, 23. “It has not been sufficiently tested and it has side effects. As long as it is not mandatory, everyone can decide for themselves.

Greek government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou said Tsitsipas “does not have the knowledge, studies or research that would enable him to form an opinion” on the need for vaccination, and added that people such as athletes who are widely admired should be “doubly careful in expressing such views.”

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic took a close look at his approach to health issues throughout the pandemic and refused to disclose his own vaccine status. Djokovic said it was a “personal decision” when asked about vaccination protocols on Friday. “Whether or not someone wants to be vaccinated is entirely up to them,” Djokovic said. “I hope it stays that way.”

ATP player council member Andy Murray said “there are going to have to be a lot of pretty long and difficult conversations with the tour and all the players involved to try and work out a solution” to the high number of players resist vaccination. He said he appreciated the privileges New York City regulations granted him as a person vaccinated, such as eating indoors in restaurants.

“I feel like I’m living a pretty normal life, but for players who haven’t, it’s different,” said Murray. “I’m sure they’ll be frustrated by this.”

Murray said he believes players have a duty to others.

“At the end of the day, I guess the reason we all get vaccinated is to watch out for the general public,” he said. “We have a responsibility as players who travel the world, yes, to look after everyone as well. I am happy to be vaccinated. Hopefully more players will choose to have it in the coming months.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tennis players want a choice when it comes to vaccination; Visits encourage him
Tennis players want a choice when it comes to vaccination; Visits encourage him
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