‘Totally unacceptable’: Novak Djokovic cops backlash after startling Covid-19 confession

Forum » Beenos Trumpet » ‘Totally unacceptable’: Novak Djokovic cops backlash after startling Covid-19 confession

Jan 12, 2022, 08:29

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is copping a wave of backlash for “completely irresponsible” behaviour ahead of the Australian Open.

The world No. 1 shared a lengthy statement to his 9.9 million Instagram followers on Wednesday afternoon, revealing his agent “ticked the incorrect box” on his travel declaration before entering Australia.

The unvaccinated tennisplayer, who is currently in Melbourne for the Australian Open, said he wanted to address matters of “misinformation” that had raised concern among Australians and been “very hurtful” to his family.

It comes after Australian Border Force officials investigated whether the 20-time grand slam champion lied on his entry form to come into the country.

On his travel declaration form — which formed part of court documents released on Monday — the Serbian ticked a box saying he had not travelled, and was not planning to travel, in the 14 days before his flight Down Under.

However, Djokovic faced allegations that he travelled from Serbia to Spain in the 14 days before he flew to Australia last week.

The Home Affairs Department warns on its website that giving false or misleading information to the government is “a serious offence” carrying a possible jail term.

Djokovic has now confessed to the “human error”, claiming it was “certainly not deliberate”. He blamed “challenging times in a global pandemic” for the mistake.

The 34-year-old said his agent “sincerely apologises” for the blunder.

Djokovic also admitted to partaking in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe after knowing he had tested positive to Covid-19 earlier that week, a decision he described as an “error of judgement”.

According to L’Equipe, Djokovic posed and screamed in a maskless trophy photoshoot during the media event.

His reasoning for going ahead with the 33-minute interview and photoshoot was because he “didn’t want to let the journalist down”.

“I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment,” he wrote.

In an interview with the BBC, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that if Djokovic had attended events despite a positive test, “it would be a clear breach of rules, because if you are positive, you would have to be isolation”.

Article 248 of the Criminal Code under Serbian Law states: “Whoever during an epidemic of a dangerous contagious disease fails to act pursuant to regulations, decisions or orders setting forth measures for its suppression or prevention, shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment of up to three years.”

Inevitably, the tennis community was not impressed with Djokovic’s revelations.

Tennis journalist Gaspar Ribeiro Lanca tweeted: “Even if what Djokovic says is true, this confirms he had a completely irresponsible behaviour not only by attending the L’Équipe interview but especially for going to an event with kids while waiting for a PCR result following an event where a number of people tested positive.”

AAP reporter Karen Sweeney posted: “However you look at this – as a fan or as a critic – this is totally unacceptable.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Stuart Condie tweeted: “These are not admissions you’d be comfortable making when Australia’s immigration Minister has power to cancel your visa in they believe it to be in the public interest.”

Journalist Seb Starcevic posted: “Just so we’re clear, if you get Covid before I’m supposed to interview you, I won’t be let down if you cancel. Not even a little bit. If you feel that guilty, we can do it over the phone.”

Jan 12, 2022, 08:44

Who gives a fuck if he’s not wearing a mask or isn’t vaccinated?

Seriously!? Countries with 90% vaccination rates are reporting that 90% of people testing positive have been vaxxed. It’s looking like it doesn’t make any difference did you’ve been vaccinated or not. Perhaps it improves your chances of surging when you get COVID but it’s done nothing for transmissibility.

And wearing masks? What the hell is point of wearing a mask on plane? You can sit in a restaurant with no mask on but somehow the mask is gonna stop the spread on a plane…right?

Australians are falling victim to power hungry politicians and idiotic articles like this aren’t doing anybody any good.

Omnicron is the dominant strain and it’s about as deadly as seasonal flu. But sure, don’t let that stop the health Nazis.

He posed without a mask for a photoshoot. I bet you the prick that wrote this article was inside a Starbucks without his mask on the very same morning that he wrote this.

And when they start putting people’s tweets into articles then you know it’s simply garbage journalism.

Jan 12, 2022, 14:41

I am sorry Plum - the Rules worldwide is the same.  When getting tested positive for the virus the person is to go into isolation and not into the public as happened in the case of Djokovic.   And giving an obvious  false answer on the visa application form is misleading.     Travelling between EU countries and from outsiders into the EU countries is also strictly controlled.

Although I agree with you about the dictatorial attitudes of Governments worldwide as to the Chinese virus - I do not believe that rules more or less generally applied should be ignored totally like Djokovic did in this case.   

There is no news about what the Aussie Government is going to do as a result of Djokovic's conduct I am pretty sure he will be deported before Friday.    He would be allowed to appeal against the three years ban  that would result from such a decision - but whether that would be granted is another question.     


Jan 12, 2022, 15:48

If anyone who was in contact with him and got covid, he's gonna be in a heap of bother. He better hope nobody got seriously ill or died as a result...

Jan 12, 2022, 16:57

I am afraid we will  have to wait until tomorrow for a ministerial decision - which would be considered by I assume  about the latest by 9 am SA times.   I doubt whether Hawkes - who got new supporting evidence from the Djokovic legal team - will take the final decision without consulting with the Minister of Health and Prime Minister - but the decision is going to be his.

My money is on Djokovic be deported.        

Jan 12, 2022, 17:42

I can’t see that Djokovic doing an interview in Serbia while he had Covid is the business of the Australian government. The travel to Spain error or lie depending on your point of view clearly is.

 I would guess that’s grounds for a deportation…..which may be the politically advantageous thing to do. But it won’t undo the damage to Australia’s image.

They have clearly been looking for a way to build capital out of the Joker saga…..employing shady legal tactics like trying to delay the hearing. The fact that Djokovic gave  them an opening doesn’t negate the predatory nature of their actions.

They have a choice, they can be big about this and admonish him, while allowing him to stay. Or they can send him packing, which will for a long time change the image of the Australian Open…..the players’ tournament, the friendly tournament.

But traveling to Spain was a remarkably dumb move by Novak and he is now out of the legal system into the political system. My guess …he is toast. Which may not be the worst thing for him, winning with all these distractions is a tall order,

Jan 12, 2022, 19:47

I really sympathize with Djokovic in this case - but  Djokovic landed him in the middle  of a political squabble  involving the present Aussie Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition Party.   The  Labor Party Government in the State of Victoria was sympathetic to him and the upcoming Aussie general election is going to be nasty supreme. 

Djokovic's clear disdain of the Covid Pandemic is not going to sit well with the leftist press in the USA - even though Fox News was upset about what happened to him in Australia - they basically are the centrist news agency. 

I think that New York Times have already attacked him and would not be surprised if the fake news agencies CNN and MSNBC do not follow that line of action as well.   I would hav liked him to play - but share your opinion about the difficulty he would have in winning , beaing in mind that after Wimbledon he did not have a winning record on the tennis court/           

Jan 12, 2022, 22:14

Meanwhile Oz soars over 100000 cases again today. No wonder the political hacks and their woke groupies  want to focus on Djokovic.

Jan 12, 2022, 22:42

Scott Morrison conservative liberal party leader and our PM has a decision to make, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, he sits on a double edged sword. Scomo as he's nicknamed is not without his failings but as a politician he's not too bad, I've known worse, he is well liked both at home and abroad. Generally well accepted by most world leaders across the globe with the exception of China. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Problem is No-Vac Jokou has landed at his front door unvaccinated with dubious credentials. 

The Jokou has apologised for his indiscretions and  his own PM has warned that he will face consequences on his return.

But that's just bye the bye, of greater importance is that Scomo is sitting on a political time bomb with an election staring him in the face. It's no secret that he's popularity in the polls have waned and that his decision on the Jokou will seal his and the country's fate for the next 4 years.

At another time Scomo would have given him a good old fashion Rogering and allowed him to stay and play in the Ozzie Open. Not now......he'd be a very foolish man risking the future of not only himself but also his party and the fate of millions of Ozzies. The opposition Labour Party is a standing joke, all they do is bark, we've had a taste of them in the past and within 4 years they bankrupted the economy, they sound good but believe me these plonkers couldn't fart down a toilet bowl. The only thing that's important is the well being of all Australians and under the current government we live a relatively comfortable lifestyle. Why the risk of change...if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Ignore the scurrilous comments made about Ozzies in this forum, if it's not laughable then it's BS. Some would be wise to wonder about their own country before shrieking ....shame.

Added to the above Scomo and his Minister of Health put Ozzies through a ton of pain because of Covid......all for the greater good they told us. We've all read in this forum that Oz with it's covid restrictions had become a police state.....self isolation, lockdowns, the wearing of masks and then mandatory vaccinations became the norm for months on end......we were denied our basic freedoms. It's been claimed that Oz had the harshest restrictions in the world with some people suffering mental health issues......still we struggled on. At one time we boasted the lowest rate of infections and deaths in the world. I thank and appreciate our leadership.

There are two ethos very dear to Ozzies, one is that everyone gets a fair go and the other is that we're on a level playing field and that everyone is treated equally. It's the second one that will decide the Liberal Party's fate at the upcoming election. Jokou, a Prima Donna  didn't give a snot about the risks people faced being in his company. Seriously, worse case scenario unsurprisingly is someone's life. He obviously didn't care.

Well I care....so do millions of Ozzies, why should Jokou waltz through this issue unscathed when millions of Ozzies were forced to sacrifice their freedom?

Jan 12, 2022, 23:49

The world needs to stamp down on this anti-vaxxer. He can choose to not take the vaccine, but he cant choose to not follow Covid laws within a country, like any other law. 

He lied on his forms, and he did not self-isolate when he was in Serbia.

A typical anti-vaxxer living in denial, or he just does not care because he knows an athlete will probably have minimal sickness. 

Jan 13, 2022, 00:06

Funny....some on here object to dishonesty but even though Jokou has admitted and apologised for his wrong doings making it abundantly clear that he is at fault the blame is still laid on the Ozzies........what a laugh. He clearly didn't care and road on the high horse of being a much decorated tennis star.

He caused it he wears it.....piss him off I say. 

Jan 13, 2022, 00:20

Oh the Aussies can have their own rules……but the Aussie open is part of tennis’ grand slam. It is bigger than Australia in a sporting context. There are certain obligations that flow from that status…..making it equally easy for players of all persuasions to compete being one of them.

When the Olympic Games takes place Western countries don’t exclude competitors from Communist or rogue countries because they may have repugnant views or a history of repugnant actions. The belief is competing fosters better understanding. And athletes competing in these events gain entry, even if individually they might struggle to do so. There is an unwritten rule that competitors do in  fact have superior access.

So Australia has a rule you can’t have visited another country within 14 days. Moot in this case Djokovic contracted Covid, whether before or after he travelled to Spain he is theoretically non contagious. He can’t infect any of the precious Australian public. He is much safer than double vaxed/non boosted people. 

So the only reason to deny him entry is to keep angry people like the Quisling happy….punish somebody, it will make them feel better. But Djokovic makes no pretense of agreeing with Australian policies, and he shouldn’t have to, as long as he is safe.

It’s ugly stuff from a country that would be better served focusing on it’s immediate crisis, the living proof that their rules are no protection. 

Jan 13, 2022, 01:07

Heya Sleezball.....here this is Shame

"It’s ugly stuff from a country that allows a man to be murdered in cold blood while he's begging for his life.....George Floyd....screened across the globe.

It's a shame to see a bunch of hooligans take over your highest office and then having to read how your defenceless politicians had to protect themselves by hiding in their offices.


Jan 13, 2022, 06:13

Heya Quisling you forgot to close your quote, so the whole statement reads like a cat’s breakfast. But who exactly allowed him to be murdered? 

And while you’re about it comment on this abuse will ya?

 Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its offshore processing policy, which has harmed thousands of people.

“Australia’s abusive offshore processing policy has caused immeasurable suffering for thousands of vulnerable asylum seekers,” said Sophie McNeill, Australia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The cruelty of these camps, in which seven people have committed suicide and children have been terribly traumatized, should not be replicated elsewhere.”

Since July 19, 2013, the Australian government has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers who sought to reach Australia by boat to offshore processing camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Individuals and families with children spent years living in substandard conditions in these centers, where they suffered severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and medical neglect.

Under international law, immigration detention should not be used as punishment, but rather should be an exceptional measure of last resort to carry out a legitimate aim. Adult migrants should be detained for the shortest time necessary. Children should not be placed in immigration detention.’

Jan 13, 2022, 07:12

Abuse huh? That's a bit rich coming from you. Your lot killed an innocent man in broad daylight for all the world to see......9+ sad minutes of him begging for his life.

Abuse Huh? What's happening on your border with Mexico right now as we speak? And say did your lot ever reunite the poor kids who were separated from their mothers?

Abuse Huh? The world watched in horror as your highest office was ransacked and vandalised while your politicians bunkered down in fear of their lives.


And OBTW how many homicides in Chicago this past weekend? Why don't you drive around the city and do a head count.

Jan 13, 2022, 12:12

There is no press announcement yet on whether Djokovic is going to be allowed to remain in Australia and play in the Open.   My guess is that there will be no presser.   

There are indications that the verdict of the Minster was to cancel his visa from a reporter with links to the Governing Party as well as a hint of the Prime Minster at a presser to the effect that he expects that the Border Guards will do their duty. 

My guess is that they will formally inform Djokovic that his visa has been cancelled  and put him on a plane leaving the country sometime today or tomorrow morning and only confirming his departure in the press.         

Jan 13, 2022, 17:45

‘Children spent years in detention’ under your immigration rules. So desperate were your blokes to keep these people out of your ugly country. A scandal that was agreed at the top levels of government….what happened with Floyd was the result of a rogue policeman, agreed by nobody.

Are you so incredibly dumb you can’t see the difference Quisling.

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