MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios has known as for the Australian Open to be cancelled out of solidarity for the individuals of Melbourne, however stated that if it goes forward, unvaccinated gamers needs to be welcome at his house Grand Slam.
The 26-year-old famous on his podcast “No Boundaries” how match host Melbourne had endured the longest cumulative lockdown for any metropolis because the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I don’t assume the Aus Open ought to go forward, only for the individuals in Melbourne – you’ve obtained to ship a message,” Kyrgios stated.
“How lengthy did (Melbourne) do in lockdown? 275 days or one thing?”
Melbourne ended its sixth lockdown final month.
Kyrgios additionally took purpose at authorities who’ve pledged to dam unvaccinated gamers from the Grand Slam in January whereas lending assist to world primary and males’s champion Novak Djokovic, who has declined to reveal his vaccination standing.
“I am double-vaxxed however I simply do not assume it is proper to power anybody, but an athlete, (and say) you’ll be able to’t come right here and play since you’re not vaccinated,” stated Kyrgios, ranked ninetieth on the earth.
“(NBA participant) Kyrie (Irving), Novak, these guys have given a lot, sacrificed a lot.
“They’re international athletes who tens of millions of individuals look as much as and I simply really feel prefer it’s so morally improper to power somebody to get vaxxed.
“There’s different options round it.”
Kyrgios stated the match might observe the lead of American sports activities, together with the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation, which make unvaccinated athletes undertake COVID-19 assessments earlier than clearing them to play.
“You wait quarter-hour and also you get a detrimental check and I feel then you definitely’re allowed to play,” he stated.
The sports activities minister of Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, was confused by Kyrgios’s feedback however reiterated that unvaccinated gamers can be banned from the Australian Open together with unvaccinated followers and employees.
“I actually like Nick Kyrgios and I cheer for him each time he performs and I definitely do not need to have beef with Nick Kyrgios however I truly could not observe the logic of his feedback,” minister Martin Pakula stated on Tuesday.
“We have had an extended lockdown so the Australian Open should not proceed? I am unsure I observe that.
“I feel the alternative applies.
“Melburnians, Victorians and, frankly all Australians, are completely gagging for main occasions.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Modifying by Shri Navaratnam)