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1 February, 2023
Time puts everyone in their place and in Novak Djokovic’s case that place is professional glory and social justice.
It's been just over a year since Novak Djokovic became a fighting symbol for one half of society and a disgrace for the other half. It goes without saying which half was supported by the official narrative, so eager in times of covid control to find targets among those who strayed from the beaten path.
Djokovic was already a top-level athlete at the beginning of 2022, having achieved enough merits to match Federer or Nadal. It was then that he traveled to Australia to compete in the Open, a renowned tournament that is part of the "Grand Slam of Tennis". After his covid vaccination status could not be corroborated and the exemption he presented was rejected, he was detained at Melbourne airport and the authorities cancelled his visa pending deportation. Remember that plandemic regulations were twisted at will with the excuse of the virus to separate the "good guys" from the "bad guys". Rules such as curfews, spaces where the mask was mandatory or absurd green passports were combined without order nor coherence at a global level. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke argued that the player's decision not to be inoculated could increase "anti-vaccine sentiment".
Djokovic's lawyers challenged the Australian government's decision and demanded that a hearing be held, causing the process to stall and moving Djokovic to a hotel, where he was locked up for 5 days. After several back and forth rounds, a hearing was held on January 16, 2022, which resulted in Djokovic's deportation.
The infamous anti-liberty behavior of the authorities provoked a wave of support for the tennis player in the form of rallies outside the hotel in Belgrade, the capital of Djokovic's home country, and protests on social networks that were reproduced around the world. The tennis player's family did not hesitate to describe the event as "the biggest diplomatic sports scandal in history". The tennis player's brother, Djordje Djokovic, denounced that he was being treated like a criminal and that he was even deprived of his belongings during the forced confinement.
The ever so wise Juan Manuel de Prada dedicated one of his chronicles in ABC to the Serbian athlete while the matter was still warm, under the title "A legend called Djokovic". Reading his words a year later is enlightening and should put to shame all those who repudiated Djokovic for not bowing down to nonsense. De Prada said that "the Australian Open will continue to drag the curse for having prevented, in its 2022 edition, the participation of a legend (...) Today it may seem that his is an unworthy glory, representing only a minority that has been converted into a scapegoat by a submissive and cowardly generation. Owens also represented only a few filthy blacks; Maradona also represented only a few charlatan South Americans. But the years will pass, the sporting feats of his contemporaries will pass; and the legend of the now stigmatized Djokovic will shine". This is how the author compared Djokovic with two other great sports personalities, whose exploits went beyond the sporting arena and marked popular history with fire.
In an interview with the BBC in February last year, Nole, as Djokovic is often referred to, explained that he would take all the consequences of his decisions, but that he would continue to defend and support "the freedom to choose what to put in your body". It is worth dwelling on the tennis player's words, who stated: "As a professional athlete, I have always carefully reviewed, assessed, everything that comes in from supplements, food, water, sports drinks.... Anything that comes into my body. And based on the information I received, I have decided not to take the vaccine as of today (...) The principles of decisions regarding my body are more important than any title or anything else".
Well, a year has passed. The discredited Novak Djokovic has returned to the place where he lived the worst moments of his personal and sporting life, and he has done it to win the same tournament that he was not allowed to play in 2022. They wanted to exemplify with his behavior the consequences of "disobedience", but in a very short time he is back at the top of the ATP, with his 22nd Grand Slam under his racket, and the circumstances of his confinement, deportation and media targeting seem more ridiculous than ever.
Once again, Juan Manuel de Prada seized his position in the mainstream press to throw a few darts, now that Nole's suffering seems to be an anecdote of the past. The column titled “No-Vac, No-Covid” shows that de Prada is not the type of columnist who hides behind the fence, especially in this case, in which his predictions have proven to be exactly true. The writer speaks of "divine justice" and mentions that "as the icing on the cake, the genocidal philanthropist Bill Gates was in the stands". Yes, he literally writes it like this: GENOCIDAL. With his victory in Melbourne, Djokovic gave every letter of his name to each and every person who defended their body as a temple to be respected, and who did not consent to be inoculated with an experimental genetic therapy. The winner's tears, as Prada says, are a mirror for all those who have suffered harassment, persecution and stigma.
In just one year the story has taken a 180-degree turn. The official villain to the masses hooked on covid, has earned a place in the Olympus of tennis. Who now remembers the cowardly Nadal? Running to criticize his teammate in full pre-deportation crisis saying that Nole knew the rules and should abide by the consequences.