October 16, 2021

Sydney circuit cops anti-vax hate mail

Read Time:2 Minute, 15 Second

The Sydney circuit will host four back-to-back Supercars rounds starting later this month, as the category scrambles to complete the five rounds required by its broadcast agreement.

The unprecedented quadruple header will restart a 2021 camping heavily affected by long lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Sydney has only today emerged from a months-long lockdown, the easing of restrictions coming thanks to increasing vaccination coverage.

However restrictions won’t be eased entirely until the coverage is even higher, with vaccination mandatory for attendance at a number of events for the time being.

While Supercars has avoided slapping a mandate on vaccination, the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, which operates SMP, has made being jabbed a condition of entry to the circuit for the four Supercars events.

Earlier talk of pushback from some drivers has eased in recent weeks, and all are expected to fall into line with the vaccine mandate, however the ARDC has reportedly found itself in the firing line of anti-vaxxers.

ARDC boss Glenn Matthews told The Daily Telegraph that he’s received hate mail from people against mandatory vaccination, despite only following the public health orders around big events during the transitional post-lockdown phase in Sydney.

“I have had some terrible hate mail from anti-vaxxers and stuff and I just said to them, ‘what we are doing is we are simply complying with the public health order’,” Matthews told the paper.

“That’s what we have got to do as a community and that’s what is best.

“Some of it was very nasty. But we are not alone in that. Lots of venues and places have been getting trolled.

“Some people choose to do that, that’s their prerogative. At the end of the day, we are going to put on four great events for people to watch.

“What we have in place is to simply abide by whatever the public health policy is. And so the public health policy at 70 per cent [vaccination], as the government have announced – and even at 80 per cent – is that only people that are double vaccinated, whether they are staff or spectators or employees, can enter the premises.

“So our policies simply comply with what the law is of the day.”

Erebus Motorsport owner Betty Klimenko took to social media today to hit out at mandatory vaccination and declare that she won’t attend any of the SMP events over what she says is “discrimination”.

Supercars is expecting there to be no vaccine mandate for the season-closing Bathurst 1000, by which time NSW should have hit the 90 per cent coverage rate required for another significant reduction in restrictions.

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