No-Vax Djokovic

Photo by Ariv Gupta on Unsplash

While the whole world is grappling with the “less terrible” cousin of Delta; Australia and Australian Open Tennis in particular are struggling with what will happen to Djokovic (Joko). Will he play, will he not, will he be detained(again) or will his visa be canceled and on and on the nail biting questions go?

Joko landed in Australia presumably with some sort of medical exemption which allowed him to be not vaccinated against COVID. Who gave the exemption, was it correct, could they do so, was it valid and so on and so forth are a number of questions doing the rounds. When he landed late on Jan 6th in Melbourne, first he was interviewed by Australian Border Force officials and then his visa was canceled and finally he was detained in a hotel (branded C-grade by his supporters). Since then, the tennis and Australian media have both gone into a tizzy.

Joko launched a court case and won the first round, where the court agreed that his visa was unreasonably canceled and thus he was released from detention. In an election year, everyone has picked up on this saga including politicians (no less than ScoMo and Albo). In addition to ScoMo’s alleged mishandling of the coronavirus twists and turns, to the delight of his detractors, this is something else that he could be held responsible for. While politicians play “shame shame puppy shame”, there has been considerable media coverage of the issue, with protests both in support and against Djokovic.

Irrespective of Joko’s legal position, it seems strange why he chose to not be vaccinated? Yes, there is free will! But, what about the free will of others? What about laws, what about societal attitudes and what about health, what about safety and most of all what about common sense? In a democratic country like Australia, which suffers from “tall poppy syndrome”, how could Joko assume that he would be spared and accorded a special status? In a country where the media doesn’t miss a chance to shame the highest offices of the nation, Joko’s assumption is no less than a JOKE.

With no end in sight to this saga for now (Yes, it will die either by his visa cancellation or exit from the open), it is hard for many to comprehend, why Joko was ready to land in Australia, non-vaccinated, mount a court case and do so many things which have taken up not only his time, energy and money but also been a nuisance to a whole nation and the tennis/sporting fraternity; when all he had to do was roll up his sleeve and take a jab. Until he comes out with some sort of explanation, we can only assume that like so many other politicians, sportsmen, actors, celebrities and people in the limelight, he too is just a person with some special skills sans common sense(in this case).

Being a fan of Djokovic and his game, I’m sure there will be a lot of fans who will end up wishing he wins the Australian Open this year and gets a dose of common sense rather than the prize money. For now, he just looks like a “No-Vax Joke in VIC”.



Arunesh is the author of 2 books — The Migrant, A Biography and The Astrologer’s Curse. He works in the energy industry and loves writing and travelling.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
The Universal Post

Arunesh is the author of 2 books — The Migrant, A Biography and The Astrologer’s Curse. He works in the energy industry and loves writing and travelling.