The Djokovic Saga
When Novak Djokovic landed in Australia on January 05, 2022 with an exemption approved by Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer and a Victorian government independent expert panel, he was mocking the people of Australia and its duly elected government.
As an individual, Novak is free to live his life as he pleases. Not being vaccinated is his choice. That is a personal choice that he has no right imposing on a society that is following other rules in spite their personal preferences.
He has provoked the Australian government, lied about this movements at the time of being infected with Covid and demonstrated very poor judgment and empathy for others in the absolute arrogance that his fame and wealth carries for him. Would a lesser person of socio-economic standing face anything different than what Novak Djokovic has faced at the hands of the Australian Immigration officials and government? The answer is a resounding “NO”. Should he decide to stage a tournament from his home, he is free to do so. But he must subject himself to the law, when he is in public like any other
Does Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government’s Independent Expert Panel have the right to make decisions for not only the players in the draw who have to play an unvaccinated Novak Djokovic but also the ground staff, referee and the spectators who follow the law?
There is no doubt about his ability and skills as a Tennis Player. Novak Djokovic has consistently craved for attention (for being loved) of a certain kind that borders on self-pity. And he must go beyond the theatrics to be able to genuinely loved for who he is as a human being more than a tennis player. And he has failed on and off the court to elicit genuine human love from the people that see him being presented with this great opportunity to be a role model.
Novak Djokovic has put the entire Australian Open 2022 at risk. Despite being a startup in the sports sphere, I am taking a stance here that he must return home gracefully and stop taking this fight to an embarrassing situation for all. Should the latter happen, players must refuse playing him, officials must refuse officiating his matches and and spectators must refuse paying to watch him in action.
The Power of the Australian People who have made sacrifices to conform with the strict government controls and policies for Covid must be respected and find expression and justice. It cannot be flagrantly violated by a few. Profits are necessary but not at the cost of human self respect.
I find plenty of young talent a joy to watch without the tantrums when things are not going well and the titillations when things are going well that Novak Djokovic manages to induce in his games. I miss the true sportsmanship of a Federer or a Nadal when they don’t play or exit early in a tournament but hardly notice the climb of Novak in a draw. So here is another thought. Whoever wants to play and lose to him so that he can crown himself the greatest of all times can work with Tennis Australia to redraw the tournament for 2022. And from the next year it can be a Grand Glam instead of a Grand Slam. How about that?