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Unvaxxed Could Say: We’re All Novak Djokovic Now

Unvaxxed Could Say: We’re All Novak Djokovic Now
Novak Djokovic (AP Images)

“What mighty contests rise from trivial things,” wrote Alexander Pope. This might come to mind when pondering the Novak Djokovic situation. The Serbian-born Djokovic’s racket is sport, after all, which isn’t exactly as meaningful as eliminating disease. And the current controversy surrounding him is over his refusal to receive a COVID shot, which should be a scientifically trivial matter because it doesn’t eliminate disease. Yet the world’s best tennis player’s well-publicized conflict with the Australian government has taken on truly great proportions, becoming symbolic of a great lie, great persecution, and great resistance of our time.

For if a wealthy and famous athlete such as Djokovic (pronounced joke-uh-vich) can’t participate in a tennis tournament for lack of the needle, what does this bode for the little guy’s prospects for resisting medical tyranny?

Down Under for the upcoming Australian open, Djokovic is still in limbo after a Monday court victory that freed the perfectly healthy man from a coronavirus quarantine, as there’s now a claim that he might have given immigration officials false travel information. This is apparently unacceptable to COVID Ritualist governments — which wouldn’t know anything about peddling false information [reword: which obviously know a thing or two about peddling false information].

But Djokovic has now become an object of scorn in certain quarters. A former coach of his has said he’ll be subjected to boos and whistles if he plays; an Australian news anchor got caught on a hot mic calling the star a “lying, sneaky a**hole”; and shock jock Howard Stern, displaying his characteristic eloquence, said the athlete was a “f***-nut” and should be banned from tennis (which is interesting coming from a man who some say should be banned from radio).

Stern also sternly stated that Djokovic is selfish. This is a common accusation, one epitomized by a Monday article at INews.co.uk that was republished by Microsoft network. Calling Djokovic a “toxic and divisive presence who cares about no one but himself,” commentator Kevin Garside wrote:

At what point does Novak Djokovic put the interests of others above his own?

At what stage does he accept that his presence in Australia, no matter how justified he feels it to be, is divisive and toxic?

Whatever is happening in Melbourne it seems tennis is no longer at the heart of it. What began as a straightforward quest to enter Australia in order to contest the Australian Open has become a drama of global fascination, one subsumed in a maelstrom of emotion, ill will and nationhood, overlaid by the politics of Covid and vaccine ethics.

Djokovic was straight out of detention and onto the court to hit the past few days out of his system, and point his muscle memory in the direction of grand slam win No 21, which is all that matters to him and, of course, answers the question put in the opening sentence. What is lost in his vain pursuit of professional glory is the scale of a pandemic that is consuming Australia anew.

There’s much to unpack here. It wouldn’t be surprising if Djokovic were selfish, especially since this is the human (and animal) norm. (As G.K. Chesterton put it, most miss the main reason people are selfish: They have a “self.”) The player likely isn’t thinking about taking up the cudgels for a cause, except for that of eclipsing contemporary competitors Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who share Djokovic’s major tournament record, also having won 20 each. And with there being only four major events yearly and Djokovic being 34 years old, he may not have many chances left to break the tie by a sufficient margin to cement the record.

There’s also news that Djokovic did a photo shoot a while back while knowingly being SARS-CoV-2 positive, which is not responsible (though the tests aren’t entirely accurate). Yet this story is, again, about larger issues.

For example, Garside states that the pandemic “is consuming Australia anew.”

That would be the same Australia whose over-12 citizens are 91 percent “fully vaccinated” and that has embraced China-style lockdowns.

Health authorities have also confessed that the vaccinated can contract and transmit the virus. Yet the Branch COVIDians want to blame those resisting their odd and dark faith’s tenets for their COVID devil.

The notion of being “divisive” is also interesting. There are people who troll, of course, trying to rattle cages and raise ire; and this label certainly fits demagogues who stoke people’s prejudices to gain power.

Yet missed is that a person couldn’t be “divisive” if everyone agreed with him; it takes two to tango. And too often divisiveness charges are leveled at the minority or politically disfavored side, those departing from popular or pseudo-elite opinion. The accusation often simply means, translated, “How dare you disagree with us! Stop that!”

Of course, great scientists, iconoclastic ground-breakers vindicated by history, were often considered “divisive” in their times by the scientific majority. Galileo comes to mind.

As for Garside’s notion that Djokovic should roll over for some common good, this presupposes that doing so would advance good. It’s reminiscent of those who’ll claim — when, for example, someone tries exposing election-determining-magnitude vote fraud — that opening such a can of worms could spark a constitutional crisis. As with a gangrenous limb, evil’s prevalence means there already is a crisis — and ignoring it only allows it to fester. The selfless thing is to insist on corrective action even at the cost of personal sacrifice.

Djokovic is currently despised by millions (and admired by millions), including many Australians. Yet how much of this boils down to misery loving company and/or the psychological phenomenon of mass formation? Forcing people to take a drug in the name of a health benefit the drug doesn’t deliver is, after all, certainly not rational. It’s also not Djokovic’s fault that most Westerners have voted for politicians who continue foisting discredited COVID “mitigation” measures on them — while often flouting those very rules. And at least when Djokovic did so, it wasn’t his own rules he was flouting.

So Djokovic’s main sin is that he violated “rules” while only being rich and famous, not also powerful and connected. And insofar as sharing the latter deficit goes and thus experiencing persecution, the “unvaccinated” may say, “We’re all Novak Djokovic now.”

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