“Here is the bottom line, people are not putting up with it. Countries are not putting up with it, because it means that every time you sneeze or talk, you are spreading more hassle for them. They’re trying to clean their country up. They’re trying to put everybody in a mask and here you come, and you think tennis needs you that badly? No, honey, no,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said.
The 34-year-old Serb’s fight to compete in the Australian Open came to a definitive end on Sunday after three Australian federal judges ruled in favor of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel the tennis champion’s visa. The decision marked the end of a back-and-forth between Djokovic’s camp and the Australian government that began with Djokovic being detained upon arrival after being granted a medical exemption to enter the country unvaccinated. His visa was canceled and later reinstated on procedural grounds before Hawke canceled the visa for a second time.
Co-host Sunny Hostin took the opportunity to bash the United States for shooting down COVID vaccine mandates.
“You know what’s disappointing is, this Australian government is experiencing a surge in omicron like we are, and their government is saying, ‘No you can’t come in without the vaccine, you don’t qualify for the exemption,’ when our very Supreme Court just recently, when the Biden administration wanted to have a very similar mandate, our Supreme Court said, ‘No, no thank you,’” Hostin said.
Co-host Joy Behar then chimed in, “They’re in the pocket of the right wing.”
“This is all about politics, this is all political,” Goldberg said.
Behar noted vaccines help reduce the risk of hospitalization and said mandates are “essential” to help lift the nation out of the pandemic.
Djokovic released a statement following the court’s ruling, saying he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome and was “uncomfortable” that the coverage of the Grand Slam tournament had focused so heavily on his status as an unvaccinated player.
ATP also released a statement saying the court’s decision must be “respected.”
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and the Associated Press contributed to this report.