Stefanos Tsitsipas: ‘For us young people, I think it is good to pass the virus’

TENNIS : Roland Garros French Open 2021 Men s Final - Paris - 06

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.”

[From Tennis365]

“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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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

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78 Responses to “Stefanos Tsitsipas: ‘For us young people, I think it is good to pass the virus’”

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  1. TheOriginalMia says:

    He sounds dumb. Young people are not immune to the deadly effects of COVID. He’s going to FAAFO and all we’ll be able to say is “thoughts and prayers”.

    • minx says:

      My daughter and her friends are that age and they got vaxxed as soon as they could, last spring. But they’re not morons, so…

      • Ann says:

        Same with mine. Even my son who has a Wolverine immune system and can be stubborn got it right away.

      • Anne Call says:

        If this assh*le gets sick I really hope he stays out of the hospital. He can cure himself, because as he said it’s not so bad. Ugh, my daughter in law is a doctor, my two grandkids are still too young to get vaccinated and this moron is flying around the world doing whatever he wants as people are getting ill and dying. Hope his sponsors take note of his selfish idiocy.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      The experts REALLY need to push that Covid can lead to long term erectile dysfunction, possibly life long, as it also damages the vascular system (blood supply for you know where!). THIS is what’ll get them to get vaxxed. Nothing else.

      • Valerie says:

        True, although I think they’d call that fake, too. Everything is fake to them, even to some of those who get it.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      “the vaccine has not been tested enough, it is new.”
      4.7 BILLION doses have been given world wide! We know what happens when you give people the vaccine.

      Even those that don’t need hospitalization can suffer long term effects of COVID. Permanent loss of taste and smell, enlarged hearts, kidney damage, lung damage, brain fog. Screw him and his ignorance. It’s sad he has a platform to spew his ignorance.

      • Turtledove says:

        “It’s sad he has a platform to spew his ignorance.”

        It’s beyond sad, it is infuriating. So sick of every moron with a mic in front of them spewing out bad info. It’s dangerous.

  2. A says:

    What do people think vaccines do besides ‘build immunity’?

    • Arpeggi says:

      Exactly! If you trust your immune system, you want to train it to respond and be ready BEFORE it has to deal with a bug so that you aren’t sick for weeks while it’s learning to deal with it.

      I know immunology is freackin’ complicated and I wouldn’t have studied it if I didn’t have to since it’s needed for my work, but heck! My favorite cartoon as a kid had an episode on vaccines, their benefits and how they work are easy to understand even for a 3-4 yo!

    • A.Key says:

      I laughed out loud at that part too. Someone should tell him the whole point of a vaccine is to make you build immunity without being sick first! If only he had spent half as much time in biology classes as he did slamming a racket at a ball….

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I can’t stand him. He effed up the Roland Garros final and he’s always saying and doing stupid things. There are countries begging for vaccines and this fool says this nonsense.

    • Backwards says:

      Effed up RG? come on! no ones beat Novak in grand slams this season…he was the only one that looked most convincing. Matteo and Daniil played nowhere as good as he did that day during their finals and his grandma literally died the morning of the final. Give him some slack for that.

      Hey Stef, You know what else has side effects? Every other drug that’s ever been given.
      Wtf does he want the vaccine to do? Help him beat Djokovic? He is so dumb.

  4. NCWoman says:

    “Us young people” could be living with long-term health effects soon. Studies are starting to show that even people who have “mild” cases that don’t require hospitalization often are still experiencing cognitive problems many months later.

    • D says:

      There was a very scary NYT article about this last week. Kids who had little to no symptoms are having neurological issues months later that have lasted a really long time. It’s very troubling.

    • SarahCS says:

      My colleague’s son was nine and perfectly healthy when he contacted covid last March and he is STILL dealing with health issues from it and they have a long road ahead of them.

    • A.Key says:

      I cringe at the selfishness this implies. He basically means “us young people” are fine and stand a better shot at surviving than you old folks so f you and we will continue to spread it around while you older folks are on your own. What a scumbag.

  5. Sarah says:

    Is he sure he’s under 25? He looks much older to me. 🙂

  6. Jules says:

    Darwin Award winner, right here

  7. AVEA says:

    The dumbest part about all this? He was part of the campaign to get people to vaccinate by the Greek government. He’s a dumbass.

    • Zozi says:

      The campagne was during summer 2020. Vaccinate wasnt exist then.

      • AVEA says:

        Why would that matter? He came out twice to tell young people to be careful and follow government set guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe. Pretty shitty to come out now go against that and say he’s not going to get the vaccine cause he thinks he doesn’t need it

  8. Tom says:

    Coaching note: Stefanos’ empathy is weak. His compassion is flabby. Not a bright future as a philosopher.

  9. SusanRagain says:

    The level of unintelligent (see clueless) is rising.
    Educate yourselves people.
    Honestly, I think some folks are just talking BS for attention.
    This guy if he is serious, is a new definition of Dumb Jock.

    I’m so tired of people. IMO, Trump made it acceptable to be a public idiot and now it’s fashionable to be spouting off idiot things.

  10. K says:

    Well it’s a good thing he’s pretty.

  11. lunchcoma says:

    I wish people like him knew about people like my friend’s son, who’s 22 and athletic…or at least he used to be athletic. Since having covid, he gets winded walking up stairs.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Yep, my nephew is a nurse and had a 21 year old male patient with covid in his hospital, this fit and healthy 21 year old had a massive heart attack and his doctors don’t yet know how he is going to do long term. I have no time for people downplaying how serious covid is, just wear a mask and get a vaccine, be safe for everyone’s sake.

      • Valerie says:

        See, what bothers me is that stories like this won’t even convince some people. They’re completely devoid of empathy and discernment. They’ll say it’s fake and add that they don’t personally know anyone who had it. (Or say that their friend had it and is fine, so it’s not that serious!) It isn’t real to them unless they see it, but they’ll take any old tweet or FB post at face value. If it confirms their worldview, it’s true. If it challenges it, it’s been made up. I don’t know how you remedy that.

    • Totorochan says:

      Read a webcomic whose 20-year-old author talked about his struggles with ongoing “long covid” symptoms, following a month-long illness. 18 months later, he has difficulty eating; covid left him with gastrointestinal symptoms so it’s hard to digest food, and after a period of no smell and taste, now almost all food tastes to him like rotting meat and cigarettes. His constant gastro sickness means he hardly ever leaves the house. He also has shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen toes, constant thirst, throat discomfort and more. He was a healthy 19-year-old before covid. He is terrified of the potentially lifelong impact covid may have on all the children who are getting it now.

  12. Tate says:

    There are too many dumb people in the world. We are never getting out of this mess 🤦🏻‍♀️

  13. Lizzie says:

    ” I want to see a better version of the vaccine that gives us more pluses than minuses.” Clearly he doesn’t understand any of this.

  14. Chaine says:

    “I want to see a better version of the vaccine that gives us more pluses than minuses.” Ummm is the whole “not dying of Covid” thing not the ultimate plus?!!

  15. psl says:

    I would like to smack him upside the head with his racket.


  16. LP says:

    Just checking- it’s illegal to poop on someone’s racket, right? To take a dump on someone’s tennis gear? If any lawyers could weigh in that would be great!

  17. Bryn says:

    Some people are so up their own asses. The only thing that makes them see covid for what it is, is if they personally get really sick with it. I know a few people like this. They were very blah about precautions but the moment they got sick, suddenly covid was the worst thing ever and they couldn’t understand why they weren’t warned. My response to that, f off.

  18. Sensible says:

    23?!?! Seriously, is this a typo?

  19. Nic919 says:

    This isn’t chicken pox. He’s an idiot. And he’s unaware that immunity from having covid doesn’t last for long and not at all with the different variants. That’s not even getting into the kids who are hospitalized with the delta variant.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      Chickenpox (Varicella zoster virus) is no picnic, either. Many people who have had chickenpox experience one or more episodes of shingles, which can be very painful.

  20. grabbyhands says:

    “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.”

    My god, the fucking blind ARROGANCE of this attitude will never cease to infuriate me. The poorer countries on this planet are scrambling desperately to get their citizens vaccinated for the FIRST time so they don’t have to add dying miserably from this disease to the list of shit they have to face every single day and assholes like this are wandering around deciding that he just doesn’t have to worry about it, because it’s a “personal choice”.

    This is why I hate people. I swear I will never figure out how our species has made it this far. Because it sure as hell isn’t because we’re getting smarter.

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      Yup, large groups of people are stupid and lack empathy.

      And, very seriously, this is why I laugh when people are like “there are people in other galaxies out there, and maybe some of them have advanced enough for interstellar space travel.”

      No. No they haven’t. Yes there is probably intelligent life out there, but so-called intelligent life on THIS planet has proven to me at least that people as a whole are too stupid and arrogant and selfish to advance far enough to achieve something that technologically advanced. They’ll kill themselves and destroy their planet long before they make it to that point.

      • iconoclast59 says:

        And if there is an intelligent species out there that makes it to Earth, they’ll see how stupid and easy manipulated we are, and probably enslave us. I don’t see any evidence that we’ll evolve into the fair and just people you see on Star Trek.

  21. Rapunzel says:

    And these unvaccinated variant factories are just going to bring about an even more contagious, more deadly version of the virus. Fuck these life ruiners. Fuck. Them.

    • Erin says:

      Exactly. He’s clearly talking on something he has no clue about, hasn’t read up on, or discussed it with a real doctor because if he had even taken five minutes to do so he would’ve learned that letting it circulate is exactly how you get variants. He also would’ve learned that people his age are now in the hospital and are having major long term effects. It doesn’t take that long to find all of this info. I’m sure he’s just a dense fool who doesn’t care to learn about anything he’s not interested in therefore he shouldn’t be speaking on it.

  22. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    He looks older than my 5-month-old grandbaby still in the hospital with Covid. I could be wrong.

  23. Veronica S. says:

    I’ve run into a lot of Gen Zers who think like this, honestly. I have two coworkers at my other job who go around maskless (it’s a restaurant) and refuse to get vaccinated because they don’t want to “trust something with so little data because they’re afraid of fertility.” (They’re both young women.) The logic is insane to me. You’re worried about the vaccine but not the potential ramifications of actually getting the virus, which has some actual, early data suggesting it does impact some women’s reproductive cycles???

    Social media has really done a number on us, but I think that generation in particular is really showing the toll of it. Sometimes when they talk, I can barely tell the difference between some of what they say in the infamous Boomer demographic that thinks Aunt Sally’s post has as much validity as a doctors. Unlike the older generation, they have more room to grow and mature, but man…I worry. I really do. I don’t think we’re ever going to see Facebook and Twitter taken to task for the damage they’ve done socially the way they should.

    • Mich says:

      Have they ever looked into the data? It is all out there. The ingredients. Fertility information. All of it.

      What we don’t know is the long term info on Covid itself.

    • Anne Call says:

      “Boomer generation” is 90% vaccinated so enough with the incorrect information. We’ve been taking vaccines since we were kids when everyone was vaccinated for polio and smalllpox without a damn peep. The biggest idiots I have talked with, who refuse to get vaccinated, are 20/30 somethings.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Yeah, that’s why I specified a *demographic* of Boomer, not the whole generation. You can still chill on the self-righteous anger. Getting vaccinated for somebody in that age range is as much a self-preservation as it is public safety, so I’m not giving them that much credit. They did vote by majority to put the guy who created this crisis in office in 2016, so they better be doing their part to clean up the mess.

  24. Lemons says:

    Someone please give these people Covid so that they can come back advocating for the vaccine.
    Make it a serious case where he can no longer breathe properly and can’t play professionally.

    I mean, please. These are the people who should be dealing with Covid, not the innocent children who never had a choice or those who cannot get vaccinated or those who have done everything right but those around them do everything wrong.

  25. Lucy says:


  26. Annaloo. says:


    We also don’t know a whole lot about this virus! People acting like covid landed with an instruction manual that they actually read, and are now spouting off idiotic comments like they are facts. Wtf does he know about mother nature, except that he is dumb!

  27. OriginalLala says:

    What a stupid, selfish a-hole.

  28. K says:

    Today I encountered a patient who didn’t trust the vaccine and who proudly went unvaccinated to….Florida. That healthy person came back and got picked up by their child at the airport. The (adult) child was so alarmed by the parent’s breathing and fatigue they went right to the hospital. The pt is on ECMO and needs a VAD just to stay alive. God help us all

  29. Sue M says:

    He is an asshole. And, he has the intelligence of a gnat. What a moron. No, your ‘’opinion’’ is not as valid as qualified medical infectious disease specialists. I hope he gets it and it wrecks his career. I am really hating the unvaccinated, who are preventing us from stopping this virus. I have no sympathy if they get ill.

  30. MsIam says:

    Agree with everyone here that he’s dumb as a rock, at least about this. I also read that some athletes during the Olympics refused to get vaccinated because they were concerned about how it might effect their performance. They need to look at what getting COVID has done to some people.

  31. deezee says:

    What an idiot! My 11 year old is smarter than him. Yesterday her age group was allowed to be vaccinated in Ontario and she was first in line to get her first shot.

  32. Elvie says:

    As someone said on Tennis Twitter today:
    “So pretty, but dumb as dogshit.”

    That about sums it up.

  33. Seraphina says:

    I wish he would just keep quiet. He is doing the pandemic and his country a HUGE disservice by vocalizing his thoughts.

  34. TEALIEF says:

    The ignorance is stunning. “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,”  Protecting oneself with a vaccine is a problem! He is a fool and an embarrassment to Greek philosophers and medicine. He is no Plato, or Hippocrates. He’s longhaired tennis player whose tennis shots -until recently- were crazy wonky on both the forehand and backhand side. The wonkiness has migrated to his brain.
    He knows nothing about immunology, virology, or the R&D of bench to bedside. That’s why I was rooting for Seb Korda to beat him last night. Seb lost, but I will be rooting for whomever he plays next. The ATP and WTA need vaccine mandates.

  35. Anna says:

    Shut your mouth and play tennis, moron.

  36. Ana170 says:

    At this point, we need to stop trying to convince people to get the vaccine. It’s a waste of time and we’re past the point where doing nothing is dangerous and irresponsible. It should be mandated by as many governments and/or businesses as possible. That’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere close to herd immunity. Yes a lot of people are going to bitch and moan and some will falsely claim religious exemptions or try fake cards but most people follow the law even when they don’t like it. It’s the only way.

  37. Stacy Dresden says:

    I really wish people who refuse the vaccine would be ineligible for medical care related to that illness.

  38. Reia says:

    If someone does or does not want a vacination it’s up to them. However they should be prepared for the consequences of their actions. Seeing people who chose not to wear a mask or get vacinated and then repent is really now? You had to learn the hard way.

    • Valerie says:

      I’d be with you if their decision didn’t affect others. They will learn the hard way while taking others down with them. It is their decision, yes, but when that decision infringes upon the safety of other people, then it’s no longer a matter of personal choice.

      If I walked down the street and punched someone for no reason, “It’s my right!” wouldn’t be a valid defence. Sorry, but I’m really sick of hearing people, Americans in particular, citing their right to do whatever the frig they want regardless of how it impacts others. That’s why so many states are in the mess that they’re in right now.

  39. Feebee says:

    FFS, while not even Djokovic sounded as fucking ridiculous as Tsitsipas, he should take some responsibility as a leader in the players community. So disappointed to hear the utter ignorance here. I can see why Kaiser you were this [ ] close to cyber bullying “certain tennis players”.

  40. Valerie says:

    Oh, you think so, eh? I want to chalk this up to the youthful belief in invincibility, and it is, but it’s also anti-vaxx foolishness. I don’t understand these “I have an immune system” people. If they were severely injured in a car accident, would they wave the paramedics away with the same excuse? “Nah, we’re good, I’ll just heal myself. I have an immune system.”

    It’s also selfish. This isn’t only about you. You might—MIGHT—be able to take it on, but what about your parents? Friends? Other family? They talk about not wanting to live in a bubble while already acting as if they do. They refuse to take others, even those closest to them, into consideration.

  41. bobafelty says:

    23 going on 45. He needs to learn about vaccines and sunscreen.

  42. Jenn says:

    Side effects? What is this twit talking about? I think its called a normal immune response and children as young as three months old have them during vaccinations. What a moron.

    • jwoolman says:

      Yes, side effects from any vaccine are due to the immune system’s possibly over-enthusiastic inflammatory response. But it is not the same as being assaulted by a real virus that can enter cells of our vital organs and take over the reproductive apparatus, making scads of copies of itself.

      Dunno about this guy, but I need my lungs and kidneys and heart and nervous system and brain. I can’t afford long-term effects from
      this nasty virus. I have to wait because of medical issues, but once those are sufficiently resolved I’m trotting off to get vaccinated, even though I will have to plan for a potentially rough ride (my allergies indicate a hyperactive immune system that never really likes vaccinations). I’m actually worried that I will be more exposed to COVID by going for a vaccination than just by staying in hermit-mode…

      Meanwhile, I’m just keeping isolated as before. I don’t trust my fellow citizens here in Trump Land and I see even our reported COVID cases and deaths in my county are slowly starting to rise again. We had been doing ok with no reported changes for quite a while. But it’s hard to know if that’s just due to lack of testing.

      This very contagious delta variant is going to be a real problem everywhere, and more mutations will be coming since we have let the virus frolic unrestrained for too long. Vaccinations usually come as the final nail on the coffin for a pathogen after everybody has slowed down the spread with sensible public health measures, back in the day when it could take years to develop a vaccine. We started vaccinating against COVID with a very high case rate and death rate. It was always going to be a struggle trying to contain the virus even with a good vaccine, but I never would have guessed that so many idiots would just plain not get vaccinated and also refuse to wear masks.