(Reuters) – Following are reactions to Novak Djokovic’s announcement that he will defend his Australian Open title this month after receiving a medical exemption from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON
“They (the Victorian government) have provided him with an exemption to come to Australia, and so we then act in accordance with that decision.”
ACTING VICTORIAN SPORTS MINISTER JAALA PULFORD
“I think lots of people in the Victorian community will find this to be a disappointing outcome. But the process is the process; nobody has had special treatment.”
AUSTRALIAN OPEN BOSS CRAIG TILEY
“We completely understand and empathise with … people being upset about the fact that Novak has come in because of his statements over the past couple of years around vaccination.
“However, it’s ultimately up to him to discuss with the public his condition, if he chooses to do that, and the reasons why he received an exemption.”
AUSTRALIA’S WORLD NUMBER 34 ALEX DE MINAUR
“I just think it’s just very interesting, that’s all I’m going to say. But, hey, it is what it is, I just hope that the other players … I heard there were other cases as well … they got exemptions, so I hope they will all fit the criteria.”
AUSTRALIAN PLAYER JORDAN THOMPSON
“I can see why they (people) are upset … I know they felt you had to be vaccinated to play …
“I think people should have their say if they want to get vaccinated or not, and I don’t – I just worry about myself. Yeah, honestly I’m glad that he’s playing.”
AMERICAN PLAYER NICOLE MELICHAR-MARTINEZ
“I don’t understand why @DjokerNole is getting so much hate for his vaccine exemption. He’s within the rules, and the government could have said no but they didn’t.”
(Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)