In my business there are three major sports and the others are valued but rarely take center stage. Basketball, Football And Baseball are considered the most valuable in American society. I'm now surprised by the attention my beloved tennis is receiving.
My career in sports started at the Tennischannel. Tennis is one of my favorites to cover because those who love the sport are - in my opinion- far more fanatical. (We can debate later)!
Enter Novak Djokovic versus Australia. The 9 time Australian Open champion is unvaccinated. Novak has been the source of ire for many Australians as he entered the country to defend his title at the AO. There was so much speculation over whether or not he would play leading up to the tournament because Australia has some of the most stringent rules when it comes to vaccination status and foreigners entering the country.
We now know that Novak is not vaccinated and when he entered the country to defend his title it took less than 24 hours before the citizens and the government of that country began to protest. We also learned that Novak and other tennis players were misinformed by Tennis Australia; they were told they could play in Australia even if they were unvaccinated with a medical exemption. Novaks exemption was granted initially because it appeared he met the requirements to enter the country. Australia.
Well that information was wrong. Now it's clear that Novak was traveling and appearing at events while he had Covid. The timeline is gray but as a result of this new information it appears someone isn’t being honest in the Novak camp. Its also clear that tournament organizers lied to players to promote participation in the AO.
Meanwhile, the Australian government and different municipalities within the country are playing the blame game for this worldwide debacle. All eyes are watching as they try to determine if Novak will be allowed to play the AO in the ever changing world of Covid.
Novak's situation is an example of what is happening worldwide as we all try to adjust to Covid. Entities are making up rules as they go while other entities and people are interpreting rules as they see fit. What’s happening down under is a shitshow. I’m honestly surprised Novak doesn’t pack up and head home.
I have a hard time believing he would put up such a fight unless he was told the outcome would be favorable. Here’s one of many narratives : “This is a business. Business over health and safety. No one wants to hurt the bottom line.” However the citizens are furious with Novak. They feel as if this famous rich tennis player is ignoring the rules of a country that’s been decimated by Covid.
The story has symbolically become an international fight as the President of Serbia has weighed in and other countries are watching the results of this fight with interest because this is not an isolated incident nor will it be the last!
Favor isn’t fair but Novak has it now. I can see why the citizens are outraged but let’s be honest, Australia has handled this so poorly! It appears everyone is afraid to make a decision about Novak's status in the country. Either let him play or deport him! End this agony!