Opinion | Why is Novak Djokovic the poster boy for the mess our world is in?

If he sounds like an idiot and acts like an idiot, he’s probably an idiot, or a Djok, or whatever pun one wants to make on Novak Djokovic. The Djoker that is the Djoke now.

I’m so tired of the tennis superstar who has been a piece of news for the last week. Maybe he’ll be a great guy in real life, who knows. We can only speak of the spectacle created by his stubborn refusal to be vaccinated.

Usually I would be rooting for a man who is seeking a 21st Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. But instead I am, and dare say many of us are, deeply fed up with his antics that have led to polarization. diplomatic Fiasco: Djokovic said he didn’t travel anywhere two weeks before he went to Australia, but it turns out he traveled, to Spain. Spain is apparently examining how he was allowed to enter without vaccinating.

Djokovic contracted COVID, he met with a journalist and a photographer and did not tell them he had it. He said he isolated himself for the two weeks required by Serbia. Turns out he didn’t: he was spotted on the streets of Belgrade a week later.

He was granted a medical vaccine exemption by Tennis Australia, and an exemption was refused by the Australian Border Force. He was going to be deported, but wait, now he’s included in the Australian Open draw, seeded, of course, at No. 1. The validity of his visa and his grounds for vaccination exemption are still stuck in a swamp. political and legal.

Simply exhausting.

But there is one thing it is good for. If by any chance you wanted to put a human face on the chaos the world finds itself in and highlight various injustices, Djokovic is the poster boy you are looking for.

Do you want to understand the hypocrisy of the rich (people, institutions and nations alike) through the story of one human being? Djokovic’s Australian saga is tailor-made for it. While ordinary people in the state of Victoria face vaccination mandates and live with a severe lockdown, the tennis player who initially even refused to say if he was vaccinated has been granted an exemption.

Want to show how special treatment works? Look at Djokovic. Then consider Naomi Osaka. Fined $15,000 (US) for prioritizing her own mental health and not giving press conferences. Can you imagine how Serena Williams would be treated if she threatened the health of the general public? Heck, she was banned from wearing a catsuit to prevent blood clots in her own pregnancy.

Do you want to show how the special treatment works, part II? Have a look on the outer walls of the Melbourne detention “hotel” in which Djokovic was briefly placed after Australia first rejected his vaccine exemption declaration. There was freshly sprayed graffiti that read “Free Them All.” Refugee advocates display signs reading “Stolen Lives on Stolen Land”.

Unlike Djokovic, none of the refugees trapped in that facility for years by Australia’s brutal border policies have the luxury of living outside the squalid detention centers while the government decides their status. No, they can’t even open the windows of their rooms and they even serve them food with worms and mold. All those people who were desperately hoping that the spotlight on Djokovic would highlight his condition. But with Djokovic gone, the cameras have too. The world doesn’t care.

Do you want to explain the law? Here is Djokovic walking away from responsibility with ease. This is disinformation! That’s my agent’s mistake! The one I can’t explain is an error in judgment. It’s hurtful! Poor me. And if the immigration minister, who has strong discretionary powers to cancel your visa, does, he has a team of lawyers ready. appeal that decision in court.

Do you want to show a man who thinks he is above the rules? Djokovic again, taking extraordinary liberties by refusing to take vaccinations, contracting COVID, still refusing to take them, and attempting to enter the country that had barred re-entry to its own citizens in previous waves of COVID. He almost got away with it, too. This, even as millions around the world remain without access to life-saving vaccines, giving the virus ample opportunity to mutate and harm us all.

His own former coach, Legendary Boris Becker said that while he considers Djokovich like family, the player is making a mistake, letting the same stubbornness that made him a great tennis player stand in the way of becoming the greatest.

Looking for a meme that represents a problem that just won’t go away quietly? You guessed it.

Of course, he’s not the only prominent asshole out there. The same could be said this week for Prince Andrew, who is facing a sexual abuse lawsuit, and for Boris Johnson, the British prime minister who is belatedly apologizing for attending a Downing Street garden drinking party in the middle of a lockdown in May 2020. .

These three run the gamut in terms of talent, from duds to masters in their sphere. But their egocentrism unites them. Spoiled, petulant rich men, so used to getting away with the worst excesses, that only when forced to account do they claim to have wisdom “in hindsight” and then expect symbolic contrition to be their only consequence.

Please, could 2022 reveal heroes who inspire these self-indulgent bozos?


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