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New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended the US Open on Sunday night and appeared to praise tennis star Novak Djokovic’s refusal to get the COVID vaccine.
Rodgers, who has received criticism in the past for his own actions regarding the COVID jab, was in attendance watching Djokovic in Queens, New York. Djokovic is competing in his first US Open in two years because he refused to get the shot.
In an Instagram story Sunday night, Rodgers posted a photo of Djokovic preparing to serve the ball with the caption, “Bucket list … being able to witness the greatness of [Djokovic] in person at [Arthur Ashe Stadium]. He also included a hashtag that said “#novaxdjokovic” and had placed a red line through the Moderna logo – a biotech company that produces COVID vaccines – in an advertisement that can be seen behind the tennis star.
Aaron Rodgers went to watch Novak Djokovic play at the US Open and dropped a banger IG story pic.twitter.com/EpVgtw6yHS
— OutKick (@Outkick) September 4, 2023
Djokovic, who is from Serbia, is considered one of the best tennis players of all time but was denied entry into the United States in 2022 for the US Open. At the time, international air travelers were required to show proof of vaccination against COVID before being allowed to enter the country.
Earlier this year, just weeks before the COVID rule was rescinded, Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells tournament in California because the Department of Homeland Security denied his COVID vaccine waiver request, ESPN reported.
“The reason why I was not here for two years, I have zero regret on that. I’m just glad to be back,” Djokovic told CNN last month upon arriving for the US Open. “I’ve had plenty of success on American soil with Indian Wells, Miami, obviously Canada and here, [I’ve] won many times at these Masters 1,000 events, all of them. Of course, the U.S. Open as well being the pinnacle of the hard-court season. I’m just excited.”
For his part, Rodgers has also made headlines for his refusal of the COVID vaccine. In 2021, Rodgers was asked whether he was vaccinated against COVID, to which he replied that he was “immunized.” The former Green Bay Packer said he is allergic to one of the ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna shots.
“They were doing this, I called it a witch hunt, where they were asking every single player ‘are you vaccinated?’” Rodgers told podcast host Joe Rogan last year. “I had come to the conclusion that I was going to say, ‘I’ve been immunized,’ and if there was a follow-up, then talk about my process,” he said. “But I thought there was a possibility that, I say I’m immunized, maybe they understand what that means, maybe they don’t, maybe they follow up. They didn’t follow up.”
Instead of getting injected with a vaccine, Rodgers said he “looked into other options which included an immunization process through holistic doctor. I researched and talked to probably a dozen different MDs. I found a protocol that I felt like was the best available.”
Research on the relatively new COVID vaccines is still being conducted. According to one leading medical expert, young men face an elevated risk of heart inflammation after vaccination, The Daily Wire reported.
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an oncology surgeon at the school’s affiliated hospital, highlighted a study from Cedars Sinai that found a 30% increase in heart attack deaths among adults between the ages of 25 and 44 during the first two years of the COVID pandemic. While the uptick could result from the virus itself, Makary, speaking to The Daily Wire’s “Morning Wire” podcast in February, said there’s evidence that the vaccine could be to blame.
“We did not see the uptake before the vaccine was rolled out, but young people were primarily affected around that same time, as well,” Makary told “Morning Wire.” “The state of Florida did their own study, looking at heart attacks after the vaccine in particular, and found that there was an 81% increase in sudden death from heart attacks in the months following the vaccine compared to baseline rates. So many people do believe that the vaccine is one of the causes of heart problems in young people.”
Amanda Prestigiacomo contributed to this report.