About Djokovic: The 34-year-old tennis player from Serbia has now won five of the last nine Grand Slams. Last July, Djokovic won Wimbledon for his 20th Grand Slam title, tying him with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
- Last February, ESPN penned an article titled, “Why Novak Djokovic is the most consistent and efficient tennis player we'll ever see.” He’s a big deal in the tennis world.
- Djokovic grew up in war-torn Belgrade and learned to play tennis during bomb raids.
An early advocate for freedom of choice: The tennis player was advocating for freedom of choice in April 2020, a couple of months before the vaccine was even available.
“I am no expert, but I do want to have an option to choose what’s best for my body… I am keeping an open mind, and I’ll continue to research on this topic because it is important, and it will affect all of us.” [New York Times]
The Australian Open: It’s the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year. It's important to know that Australia requires vaccination for those traveling to the country. Djokovic got an exemption based on natural immunity to compete in the tournament.
Detainment In Australia, And The Fight For Freedom
Detained in Australia: The tennis star was detained upon his arrival in Australia, with authorities claiming his exemption was invalid. He was held by authorities while fighting his detainment. Later, Australia’s immigration minister acknowledged Djokovic’s exemption as valid.
His parents speak out: “They are keeping him as a prisoner. It's not human," Djokovic’s mother said. His father said, “This isn’t a battle for Serbia and Novak,” but a “battle for 7 billion people,” and that the authorities “want to subdue us, they want us all on our knees.”
The legal battle: After a legal battle that ensued for over a week, three Australian federal court judges ruled against Djokovic.
Australia’s Ultimate Stance
Djokovic was deported from Australia over his stance against mandatory vaccines.
Public interest: In explaining their reasoning for deporting Djokovic, immigration minister Hawke cited “public interest.” Australia is afraid that an influential voice like Djokovic can spark up the anti-mandate sentiment and lead to an uprising by those affected by the country’s authoritarian measures.
Protests against mandates: While the vast majority of Australians have been vaccinated, a small minority are vocal about fighting for their freedoms. The country has faced countless protests and riots against the mandates since early last year.
Possibly the best tennis player alive has risked his career and reputation for fighting for the freedom to choose. Although he lost this battle with Australia’s extreme leaders deporting him from the country, his courage has left a lasting global impression: Freedom is worth fighting for.