Janet Street-Porter: I'm one of Novak's fans, but I don't want him to play again

Janet Street-Porter: I’m one of Novak’s fans, but I don’t want him to play again

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic suffers from a serious illness – excessive conceit, complicated by megalomania.

In a revealing interview, the world’s number one tennis player among men clearly sees himself as a martyr, ready to reject a covid hit because only he knows what’s best for his body.

This refusal to vaccinate is the ultimate manifestation of selfishness. To hell with you all seems to say Djokovic, millions of morons who have been reluctantly pricked to protect others and support their communities, I, Novak Djokovic, work in a bubble of one. I am a demigod who makes his own rules.

After weeks of silence (following his deportation from Australia for refusing to comply with immigration rules), Djokovic decided to share his thoughts on Covid in an interview with the BBC. Some are deriding it as a misguided PR stunt, a blatant attempt to regain public attention after the disastrous events in Australia a few weeks ago, when he went from hero to zero overnight, sparking violent demonstrations and political controversy.

A border control tragedy at Melbourne airport in January cost Djokovic his 21st Grand Slam title (along with his prestige) – he missed out on becoming the greatest player of all time. On this occasion, his great rival Rafa Nadal took home the trophy after an epic five-and-a-quarter-hour match that some call the greatest final of all time.

Instead of basking in the glory, Djokovic became a laughing stock, hated by Australians for trying to bend the rules they had been forced to follow for months. All the other nonsense also did not help his case – it was not clear whether he was injected. He doesn’t speak quite directly about his Covid bout in December, his trip, or his two tests. Without telling us that he interacted with children at a tournament in Serbia after a positive test result.

JANET STREET PORTER: Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic (pictured at Wimbledon in 2018) is suffering from a serious illness - of the utmost importance, complicated by megalomania.  In a revealing interview, the world's number one tennis player among men clearly sees himself as a martyr, ready to reject a covid hit because only he knows what's best for his body.

JANET STREET PORTER: Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic (pictured at Wimbledon in 2018) is suffering from a serious illness – of the utmost importance, complicated by megalomania. In a revealing interview, the world’s number one tennis player among men clearly sees himself as a martyr, ready to reject a covid hit because only he knows what’s best for his body.

Djokovic told BBC News he would miss Wimbledon and Roland Garros if the tournaments required him to be vaccinated to play.

Djokovic told BBC News he would miss Wimbledon and Roland Garros if the tournaments required him to be vaccinated to play.

The Australian government canceled Djokovic's visa twice ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year after several days of legal wrangling.  Pictured: Djokovic leaves a state detention facility before attending a court hearing at his attorney's office in Melbourne, Australia on January 16.

The Australian government canceled Djokovic’s visa twice ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year after several days of legal wrangling. Pictured: Djokovic leaves a state detention facility before attending a court hearing at his attorney’s office in Melbourne, Australia on January 16.

As Djokovic languished in detention in a seedy hotel with asylum seekers, politicians and lawyers argued over his status. Other players who had been vaccinated to play didn’t want to scold Djokovic, but secretly many thought his actions were stupid at worst and hard to justify at best. Bad for their sport.

Now he has decided to tell his story in an exclusive interview with the sycophantic BBC correspondent Amol Rajan.

In it, the tortured tennis star decided to play a new game – the role of the anti-vaccine martyr. He is willing to end his illustrious career by sacrificing his chances of becoming the most successful player of all time – simply because his body is a temple that nothing as controversial as a vaccine will desecrate – even if 10 billion doses of this vaccine have been used worldwide for more than 6 out of 10 people with minor side effects.

He is adamant despite the fact that the highly infectious disease has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people in every country and is still affecting the unvaccinated in every age group.

Even though over 90% of those in intensive care worldwide are not vaccinated, the long-term effects of Covid will affect their lives for years to come.

It’s so stubborn, so irrational, that I want to hammer some common sense into this stubborn, ill-informed man out of sheer frustration. How can he deny millions of superfans like me the chance to enjoy his superb sportsmanship on the tennis court because he chose to believe a bunch of ill-conceived Covid vaccine conspiracy theories gleaned from the internet? Djokovic exudes a sullen self-satisfaction, like a dim-witted teenager rather than the very smart strategist he has shown us match after match over the past decade.

He says he doesn’t want to be the epitome of the anti-vaccine movement, but it’s hard to see how one of the world’s most inspiring athletes can avoid being put on a pedestal by those willing to break laws and defy rules. in the name of “freedom” of choice.

Along with the right to decide our future, we must also weigh our responsibility to society as a whole. If we are citizens of a democracy, then we must consider the common good, and not just the “rights” of each individual.

But what community is Djokovic a part of? He lives in Spain and has accumulated millions in prize money and sponsorships. This complex man has come a long way from his difficult childhood growing up during two terrible wars in the former Yugoslavia. His family made so many sacrifices to fund his early career and he is considered a national hero in his native Serbia.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, left, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic pose for a photograph during a meeting in Belgrade on February 3, 2022.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, left, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic pose for a photograph during a meeting in Belgrade on February 3, 2022.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK - July 11, 2021.  Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates the trophy after winning the final match against Italian Matteo Berrettini.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK – July 11, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates the trophy after winning the final match against Italian Matteo Berrettini.

So he is not just an athlete, he is considered a role model for young people living in his homeland. Isn’t he obligated to encourage responsible and informed attitudes towards preventing the spread of covid?

Djokovic is highly educated and speaks six languages. But he can seem introspective, almost cold. Crowds found it hard to connect with him on the court as he seemed to start every battle on his own terms, all but ignoring the fans who paid so much to cheer him on.

He has mellowed a little over the years, but still struggles to gain sympathy with his audience. Perhaps he thought that this interview would make him a modern-day libertarian, a person who seriously thought about health and medicine.

Instead, he comes across as a single-minded eccentric who says, “We are all together trying to find the best possible solution to end Covid.” By refusing to be vaccinated—even though he contracted the virus twice—he delayed the task of vaccinating the poorest, most vulnerable, and the most reluctant by years.

In an interview published on February 15, 2022, world number one Novak Djokovic stated that he is not opposed to vaccination, but would rather miss Grand Slam tournaments than be forced to get vaccinated against Covid.

In an interview published on February 15, 2022, world number one Novak Djokovic stated that he is not opposed to vaccination, but would rather miss Grand Slam tournaments than be forced to get vaccinated against Covid.

He is still chatting about the two Covid tests he took to enter Australia, though the BBC study casts doubt on the timing of the second positive test he thought would exempt him from vaccination.

He claims he’s not opposed to vaccination BUT he’s willing to sacrifice trophies by refusing the shot, prompting Ryanair to tweet: “We’re not an airline, but we fly #Djokovic.”

Other athletes, such as Kyrie Irving, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team, are also unvaccinated and New York City laws prohibit him from playing indoors. Unvaccinated Chelsea football stars cannot play in France. With 80% of British Premier League players vaccinated, those who opt out are unable to play in some European games.

Sports stars should lead by example, and Djokovic’s position is shameful.

Five-time Wimbledon winner Pam Shriver says his attitude towards tennis is “terrible”. While unvaccinated travelers can now enter the UK, I hope the Wimbledon authorities will tell the tortured Serb where he can leave his racket.

As for the US Open; vaccination certificates are required, so he will miss a long list of tournaments ahead of the Open in August.

Let’s hope Sleepy Joe doesn’t turn out to be a Djokovic fan and break the rules. Somehow I doubt it.

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