One of the most well-known athletes who is not vaccinated against the virus, Djokovic, asked the American government last month for special authorization to compete in the ATP Masters tournaments at Indian Wells and the Miami Open, which runs from March 19 to April 2.
On Sunday, the 35-year-old Serbian athlete officially withdrew from Indian Wells, as American authorities turned down Djokovic’s request.
Djokovic, who skipped the Australian Open a year ago after being deported for being unvaccinated, has publicly stated he would voluntarily choose to skip Grand Slams over receiving a COVID-19 shot.
In the letter, the Florida governor explained the lunacy of not allowing Djokovic to participate, given the mitigation of COVID-19 in the United States.
“While Mr.Djokovic is surely a supreme competitive threat to his fellow tennis professionals, his presence in our country poses no meaningful health or public safety risk. Mr. Djokovic visited the United States at least twice…since the onset of COVID-19… It’s time to put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want – let him play,” firmly wrote the governor.
The only thing keeping Novak Djokovic from participating in the Miami Open tennis tournament is President Biden’s misguided and unscientific COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreigner travelers.
Mr. President – lift your restrictions and let him compete. pic.twitter.com/fFyhNoUV4S
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 7, 2023
The United States government still currently bans unvaccinated foreigners from entry into the country, according to federal policy. This ban is expected to be lifted May 11, after the tennis tournament would have taken place.
DeSantis also noted the comparison between the influx of unvaccinated illegal immigrants pouring through the Southern border, who are still accepted into the United States.
“In sum, the current ‘travel ban’ as applied to Mr. Djokovic – and presumably millions of other potential unvaccinated foreign visitors – seems completely ungrounded in logic, common sense, or any genuine concern for the health and welfare of the American people,” Desantis included in his letter.