Novak Djokovic news: ‘Total BS’ – John McEnroe on the Aus Open saga
Tennis great John McEnroe shared his thoughts on Novak Djokovic’s visa debacle and subsequent deportation in a heated rant on ESPN.
The four time US Open champion was on the sports channel previewing the Australian Open, which is in full swing, when he was asked about the Serbian who lost his second appeal hearing to stay in the country and compete in the Grand Slam.
Not one for shying away from confrontation and controversy, McEnroe responded to the question seemingly in support of Djokovic.
“It’s an absolute joke what’s gone on in the last 12 days, it’s sad the way it ended, I watched it play out live,” the 62-year-old explained.
“It’s total BS, if he decides not to have a vaccine and the Australian authorities say, ‘You cannot go down there unless you’re vaccinated,’ end of story, it’s black or white.
“He decides whether or not he wants to do it, he’s got very strong beliefs – the reason he’s got a lot more (titles) than me is because he’s willing to go risk that, to go down there.”
It was decided on Sunday that Djokovic wouldn’t be able to play in the Australian Open, but now his participation at the French Open has also now been put into doubt.
As it stands, the world No 1 wouldn’t be allowed to compete at Roland Garros due to a vaccine pass law which is currently in place in France, and the French Ministry of Sport have also ruled that unvaccinated athletes won’t be allowed into the country.
Other countries hosting competitions might also bring their own rules similar to this into effect which would make it very hard for Djokovic to play anywhere this season and keep hold of his No 1 title.
As well as questions over his medical exemption and the dates of when he was positive for Covid-19 in December, the six time Wimbledon champion’s unvaccinated status and the civil unrest that it could bring to Australia was ultimately the reason why he was kicked out of the country.
Therefore there isn’t just the worry that unvaccinated players could potentially spread the virus easier, but by letting unvaccinated players take part in tournaments without any extra measures for them sets a dangerous precedent which largely vaccinated countries are trying to stop.
Djokovic could also potentially miss the next three Australian Opens, however according to Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, this could be waived in “compelling circumstances,” meaning he could play in the major tournament next year.
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