Stefanos Tsitsipas: For us young people, I think it is good to pass the virus
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a 23-year-old Greek tennis player and he’s pretty good. He made it to the French Open final and he was up two sets to love on Novak Djokovic before Novak came roaring back. Stefanos is also a self-styled “philosopher” who thinks he’s very intellectual and deep. He is not! He seems like a weird-but-sweet guy most of the time, but this week, he’s made some comments about vaccines which are just awful. So now everyone knows him as “the dumb tennis player.” To be fair, there are a lot of dumb ones these days. Earlier this week, Stefanos said in his press conference in Ohio that he had not gotten the vaccine and “No one has told me anything. No one has made it [a] mandatory thing to be vaccinated. At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete so I haven’t done it.” Basically, he’s waiting for the tour to mandate vaccines and only then will he get vaxxed. Except that last night, a Greek journalist had some follow-up questions and Stefanos just kept talking:
In an interview with Greece’s SDNA, the world No 3 gave a detailed explanation for his decision, saying: “I am young, I am in the under-25 category. For me, the vaccine has not been tested enough, it is new. It has some side effects, I personally know some people who have had them. I’m not against clarifying this, I just see no reason for someone in my age group to need to be vaccinated. I think the concept was to be given to older people, if I’m not mistaken.
“It is not something we know too much about and so far it has not been given to us as a must on the tour. So there is no reason. I did not say anything strange. Everyone has their own point of view. If it is to play it diplomats and not be able to express our views on something specific, what is the reason for doing these interviews.”
The ATP has so far only advised and encouraged players to take the vaccine and Tsitsipas insists he will cross that bridge when he gets there, but believes it is “good to pass the virus and build immunity”.
“Everyone has the right to decide what they want to do. If you want to protect yourself with the vaccine, your problem, go and do it,” he said. “For us young people, I think it is good to pass the virus, because we will build immunity. I do not see it as something bad. As I said, it is not obligatory, everyone has the freedom to decide for themselves what is right and what is not. At some point we should all do it, I’m not saying the opposite. The time will come when we will not be given many options, but until then I want to see a better version of the vaccine that gives us more pluses than minuses.”
“For us young people, I think it is good to pass the virus, because we will build immunity…” There are literally children dying in hospitals of Covid right now. Young people – people in their teens and 20s – are especially vulnerable to the Delta variant because so few of them were vaccinated this spring and summer. They are part of the unvaccinated demographic getting sick right now. “I just see no reason for someone in my age group to need to be vaccinated” because you are in contact with people constantly, you selfish a–hole. Even if you don’t care about protecting yourself – and he clearly does not – then what about the ball kids, the other players and the fans?
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