- There are No Heroes: Morrison – Djokovic.
- The Timeline.
Novak Djokovic had committed a nightmare public relations mistake, appearing to gloat at having managed an exemption from the vaccination requirements for the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Not necessarily a crowd favourite to begin with, Djokovic’s public announcement of the exemption that he had previously requested be a private matter created national outrage in Australia.
Normal citizens were required to be fully vaccinated, so how could this rich entitled sports star be entitled to an exemption?
The scene was set for Djokovic to “booed” during every match of the Australian Open?
So how could the public relations nightmare be defused?
Enter “Scotty from marketing”, the Australian, coal wielding, Prime Mininster with a background in advertising.
The solution, wrongfully detaining Djokovic on entry to Australia, confining him to immigration detention for several days and highlighting Australians shameful record with refugees, was the perfect solution.
Some people will probably still “boo”, but having been through that ordeal, Djokovic has now also gained victim status, and will enjoy support from many who would have never supporting him, not just following his faux pas, but ever before.
There Are No Heroes.
“Scotty From Marketing” Morrison.
The “shoot from the hip” call to act on a hastily discovered technicality, in attempt to act on community outrage, was ill-considered opportunism. Despite my sarcastic comments, it appears Morrison gave no thought as to whether Djokovic deserved the treatment he received. Backtracking from statements earlier the same day that the decision was in the hands of the Victorian government, Morrison announced there were questions raised about the validity of Djokovic’s visa just a few hours later and while Djokovic’s plane was still in the air.
Following on from the AUKUS truth debacle, “ScoMo” is not build the reputation he would desire.
Case for the Defence.
The “up yours” many interpreted Djokovic as signalling in revealing his exemption was very likely just poor judgement on how his smug photo together with written words with ambiguous expression would appear to readers on social media.
The case for Prosecution.
However, it turns out the claimed basis for the exemption is extremely questionable, if not disgraceful.
The claim is that Djokovic was tested on December 16th, and received a positive test result later that day, yet then proceeded to attend public events and pose unmasked with children for selfies the next day is at best problematic. Djokovic has since claimed he was unaware on the 17th of December, but admitted that he on the 18th he travelled and had meetings while knowing he was infected, and in breach of Serbian law requiring him to isolate. However, he did reportedly wear a mask on the 18th.
While he claims he discovered only after the events of the 17th, he did not reveal his infection, nor notify families that their children had been exposed to the virus.
Either the test was not genuine and he knew it, or he chose some mixture of completely ignoring the safety of others, but also taking some steps to show regard for others. It is almost like there is a voice in his ear telling him to do one thing, and another contradictory voice also present.
Djokovic has become a “poster boy” for the unvaccinated, which could completely erase all sympathy generated as a result of immigration detention, unless he suddenly decides to take a passionate interest in refugees, or some other redeeming step.
Here is a very comprehensive newspaper story on the affair.
(more links and more content to be added – including on the knives)
- Dec 10th: the deadline for applications for exemptions officially closed.
- Dec 14th: Djokovic attended a basketball match where several people were infected, and was later notified he was a contact.
- Dec 16th: As a contact, he had a public recorded PCR test, and states he also did his own rapid antigen test, which was negative. Records show the PCR test results were provided on the evening of the 16th.
- Dec 17th: Djokovic attended public events without either social distancing or mask wearing. Although he claims he had not yet seem the PCR test result, acting in this manner with the result pending is against official guidelines in Serbia.
- a ceremony for the unveiling of a stamp in his honour in Belgrade
- Tennis Association of Belgrade for an award ceremony on 17 December, where he posed with in close contact for selfies with child tennis players.
- Dec 18th: The French newspaper L’Équipe said he took part in an interview and its Champion of Champions awards photoshoot in Belgrade. He was photographed without wearing a mask, but reports confirm he did wear a mask at other times. Djokovic admitted knowing he had tested positive, and knowing this attendance was contrary to regulations in Serbia.
- despite now knowing he had tested positive, he attended his tennis centre in Belgrade to uphold a “long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview” because he “felt obliged” to and “didn’t want to let the journalist down”
- Dec 22: A second PCR test returned a negative result
- Jan 2: he received a border travel permit from the Victorian government.
- Jan 4: he flew from Spain to Melbourne via Dubai.
- Jan 5uary 11.30pm – he arrived in Melbourne.
- Jan 6: his visa was cancelled
- Jan 14:
- 1800: his visa was again cancelled.
- A late night hearing allowed him to stay out of detention, and meet the next morning.
more to be added