Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has changed his stance on unvaccinated players participating in January’s upcoming Australian Open. He says it would be “morally right” to let them play in the tournament after previously stating the opposite.
He added he felt it was “morally wrong” to force athletes to get vaccinated against COVID-19. On his Instagram story, Kyrgios explained that his previous comments from Monday on his podcast “No Boundaries” about not letting unvaccinated players take part in the Aussie Open were “taken out of context.”
Via Kyrgios’ Instagram story, which was posted just hours after his latest podcast episode:
“To say I want the Australian Open canceled, I think that was the sentence that got taken out of context. It’s moreso for the people of Melbourne who have gone through hell and back. I think it’s been … nearly 300 days of lockdown and your freedom has been, you know, taken away from you. I don’t think it’s morally right to accept players from overseas that aren’t vaccinated to come into our country.”
He added on his story, “but for players who are vaccinated, I think it’s an amazing opportunity to get the city of Melbourne and the people of Australia back together for such an amazing sporting event.”
This is quite the change from previous comments made by Kyrgios hours earlier. He said earlier on Monday that he wanted the Australian Open to be canceled for the safety of all and to prevent an outbreak in Melbourne.
“I don’t think the Aus Open should go ahead, just for the people in Melbourne – you’ve got to send a message. How long did [Melbourne] do in lockdown? Two hundred and seventy-five days or something?”
The 26-year-old also said on the podcast that it would not be “morally right” to let unvaccinated players participate in the grand slam tournament, but has since clarified what he meant.
Kyrgios has voiced his support for athletes who choose not to get vaccinated, and did so again by clarifying his comments after the podcast episode was released.