The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells will begin tomorrow. But Novak Djokovic, who just set the record for most weeks ranked No. 1 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, will not be there.
That is because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still requires foreigners to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country. They do not enforce this requirement on the nearly 3 million illegal immigrants that crossed our Southern border last year, but they're trying to make a political statement, and consistency doesn’t matter to this joke of an administration.
Djokovic sent an exemption request to President Biden (which Florida senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio co-signed), but he was predictably denied by Homeland Security, an extension of an administration that refuses to give up the ghost on COVID protocols. As such, he withdrew on the eve of the draw for matchups in the tournament.
Djokovic has long been a vocal believer in allowing individuals to choose whether or not to get vaccinated, and as such he has remained unvaccinated. It is a shame that after so many countries have realized that COVID is not the supremely dangerous virus we were told it was, the United States remains unwilling to change its policies and that Djokovic has to pay the price for our stupidity.
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