To many people, Nick Kyrgios is the face of pro athletes opposing vaccination.
“I think there is some correlation,” he said, indicating that vaccinations would increase the odds of an athlete getting sick. “So it could be what is, why a lot of those athletes are not being able to compete, to go out there and play competitive sports.”
But a more recent change in Kyrgios’s thinking has left those who oppose vaccination – including fans – wondering if the tennis star was again on his side.
Late last month, the Twitter account of Kyrgios’s tour-mandated sponsor – tennis pros Nike – posted a message to its followers: “1 in 5 children in Australia is not properly vaccinated. In light of the recent outbreaks of diphtheria and mumps, we urge everyone to get vaccinated.”
It was an apparent response to those who, like Kyrgios, oppose vaccinations. The message quickly drew backlash from those who – like Kyrgios – have cited evidence that vaccines are linked to autism. Some observers described the response as “disgusting.”
That was two weeks ago. Now, however, Kyrgios says he’s changed his position.
“I totally went against what I originally said,” he told Australia’s Sky News. “You know, I did say that something could have been connected. I don’t know whether I was maybe trying to help more than help, but I definitely back away from anything like that.”
Kyrgios acknowledged that he was unfamiliar with the causes of autism.
“As far as the connection or not, I don’t really know,” he said. “Now that I’ve seen the research or heard a little bit more about it, you know, I don’t really know.”