In vaccination battles, pro athletes become proxy players

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pandemic-era saga of tennis star Novak Djokovic in Australia this week is but one of many: Pro athletes who have refused to be vaccinated have been put at center court in a larger contest — as famous faces who are becoming proxy players in the accelerating worldwide cultural battles over COVID jabs.

The NBA’s Kyrie Irving missed the first months of the Brooklyn Nets’ season before making a partial return. The NFL’s Aaron Rodgers went from revered veteran to polarizing figure. And we’re still not finished with the diplomatic . . .

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