'No chance': Surfer Kelly Slater warned over Australia vaccine rules

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Surfing legend Kelly Slater (pictured) exiting the beach.
Surfing legend Kelly Slater (pictured) hasn't revealed if he is vaccinated yet against Covid-19. (Getty Images)

The Federal Government has doubled down and said surfing legend Kelly Slater - whose vaccination status is unknown - has 'no chance' of getting into the country without being vaccinated.

Slater has been vocal about the Covid-19 vaccination and is yet to confirm whether he has been vaccinated.

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Back in August last year, Slater said that he was not comfortable being vaccinated against Covid-19, but insisted he was not against vaccinations.

But as the World Surf League stressed last year, any unvaccinated surfer could have trouble travelling and competing.

Rip Curl Pro events at Bells Beach (VIctoria) and Margaret River (Western Australia) will take place in April this year.

And The Age reported that the Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said Slater had “no chance of getting into the country without the vaccine".

“I reckon he knows the rules. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a surfer, or a tennis player, a tourist or anyone else, those are the rules. They apply to everyone,” Colbeck told the publication.

Slater's case comes after World No.1 tennis star Novak Djokovic was deported from the country after he had his visa revoked ahead of the Australian Open.

The 11-day saga created worldwide headlines and raised a number of issues of unvaccinated athletes travelling to compete in sports around the world.

Kelly Slater's vaccination rant

Slater recently went on a rant over the Djokovic saga in Australia.

He defended Djokovic and said: "Maybe Stockholm Syndrome can now change its name to Melbourne/Australia syndrome” and added “so much brainwashed hatred in people’s hearts regardless of vax status”.

Last year, Slater created doubt on whether he is double-vaxxed after his social media comments on Australian Ironman athlete Matt Pooles' post.

Poole likened those deliberately opting not to get vaccinated to swimmers choosing to venture into a rip, despite knowing the dangers and the high likelihood they would need to be rescued.

Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater surfing in Heat 14 of the Round of 32 of the Corona Open Mexico.
Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater surfing in Heat 14 of the Round of 32 of the Corona Open Mexico. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League via Getty Images)

Tagging fellow Australian iron man great Trevor Hendy, Poole took aim at sections of the sporting community that were sceptical of vaccines.

Slater said that if he made a hypothetical choice to engage in the kind of conduct Poole described, then he alone would bear the consequences for it.

“If something happens to me it’s on me, not someone else. Your argument is a false equivalence. Apples and oranges," Slater said.

"If 99.7% of all people would be fine with no lifeguard while in that rip and they’re given all the possibilities, most could swim the most dangerous part of that beach without risking drowning."

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