By Abhiveer Singh
In 2022, COVID is still impacting the world and creating cracks between people. This is especially impactful on professional athletes. Novak Djokovic is a professional tennis player from Serbia and is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Djokovic was born on May 22, 1987, in Serbia and has been playing tennis since he was just four years old. Even though he grew up in a tumultuous time in Serbian history, Djokovic rose to become Europe's top ranked 14 and under player. Later, he became the number one player aged 16 or younger in Europe before turning professional in 2003; he has not looked back since. Djokovic has won 20 grand slams and is tied for the most grand slams won in tennis history by male players. These feats have cemented Djokovic as a tennis legend.
“This controversy with Djokovic caused backlash from Australians who did not believe that he should be allowed to participate in the event...”
However, despite being unbeatable on the court, he has recently been dealing with more personal issues. Djokovic's visa was first revoked on January 6, soon after he arrived in Melbourne for the Australian Open, when customs there claimed he "failed to present acceptable evidence" for a vaccine exemption. One of the reasons that Australia, specifically Melbourne, is keeping such strict regulations is because they were hit hard by COVID-19 last year. This controversy with Djokovic caused backlash from Australians who did not believe that he should be allowed to participate in the event, considering what they had gone through in the past year. However, a judge reinstated his visa and ordered his release, concluding that border authorities had ignored proper protocol when he arrived. Yet, things got worse for Djokovic when Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke later canceled his visa in Melbourne, citing the Migration Act as his justification. There is also a chance that the tennis star will be unable to take part in the French Open, since France is tightening their vaccination rules.
"If I was in Djokovic’s position I would take it because it would protect myself and my fellow athletes, and this would help me win another grand slam. I think it will tarnish his legacy because he is clearly one of the best of all time, but this controversy could stain his legacy, since he is throwing away his best years that he could have spent further solidifying this legacy,” sophomore Ryan Amante said.
Djokovic’s recent issues with COVID could be detrimental to his legacy, since he is missing out on his opportunities to further classify himself as an all-time great.
"It would affect his legacy as a good role model,” sophomore Vincent Jiang said.
Source by Anna Dekte
Due to the pandemic, Djokovic's career is dependent on his immunization status for the safety of his competitors.
Not only will this impact his reputation on the court, but this could even hurt him off the court. Sponsors of pro athletes and major celebrities spend large amounts of money on these celebrities to promote their products; however, when these athletes do something controversial, many brands tend to pull away from them due to the fear of hurting the brand. This can impact Djokovic's earnings and could lead to him going through financial trouble in the future. Currently, nothing is certain so many are waiting to see what lies in Djokovic's future.