Self-sabotage can be lethal as an unexpected drop shot.
After winning his 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon — his seventh at the All England Club — on Sunday, no one knows when Novak Djokovic will play tennis again, as he won’t be able to ride the momentum of his recent win to New York City for the U.S. Open.
Because Novak Djokovic has been his own biggest opponent of late.
After showing us all how much a hypocrite he was when he called out Naomi Osaka for not following the rules, and then turned around and was at the center of controversy at the Australian Open over his vaccination status and visa issues that kept him from competing Down Under, Djokovic got back to playing at Wimbledon, but will likely miss next month’s U.S. Open for the second consecutive year due to being an anti-vaxxer.
“The only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card… to enter the United States,” Djokovic said Sunday. “Or exemption.” According to ABC News, he told the BBC in February that “based on all the information that I got, I decided not to take the vaccine.” He also reiterated that he’s not planning on getting vaccinated.
If one of the greatest tennis players of all time wants to be a roadblock in his own career, then that’s his right. But what we’re not about to do is make it seem like he’s some brave icon for personal and civil rights like some people are trying to do.
James Melville, a communications and sponsorship consultant, freelance writer, and pundit — according to his Twitter bio — took to the app this week in an attempt to make it seem like Djokovic has somehow become a face for human rights.
Social media rightfully roasted him.
“Two sporting icons. Two different eras. But there is one huge similarity between Muhammad Ali and Novak Djokovic. They stuck to their principles even when the world was trying to shut them down. They have both transcended sport with their bravery when under fire,” he stupidly wrote as if Djokovic has been unable to play or faced imprisonment. But what’s even funnier is that Melville is too stupid to realize that Ali was pro-vaccines and used to do promos for them.
caEvery time an athlete takes a stand, some idiot somewhere tries to compare them to Ali when there hasn’t been a single athlete since Ali that’s had to deal with as much as he did and then was able to overcome it all and return to being a champion. We’ve even seen people try it with Colin Kaepernick at times over the years, as they don’t realize that Kaepernick’s banishment from his sport is still ongoing as he’s been out of the NFL since 2016 because he simply asked police to stop killing Black people.
One day when Djokovic is older, he’ll be alone with his thoughts, wondering how many more majors he could have won if he was vaccinated. When you’re that good at your sport, the competitive drive to get better and win more is what fuels you. So if Djokovic wants to add more hardware to his trophy case he should just look at the NBA as a reason why getting the shot could help improve his legendary career even more. Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins were once anti-vaxxers, but they eventually smartened up. Beal just signed a $251 million contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, and Wiggins just had the best season of his basketball life and was named an All-Star Game starter and won his first championship with the Golden State Warriors. And to strengthen this argument, this past week the Kansas City Royals were down 10 players as the anti-vaxxers couldn’t travel to Toronto to play the Blue Jays.
And then there’s Kyrie Irving. Like Djokovic, he’s a legendary talent who’s also an anti-vaxxer. And because he refused to get the shot, his team’s season was destroyed and his franchise is in current disarray, and he’s lost millions and could lose more. Don’t be like Kyrie Irving or the Kansas City Royals, Novak Djokovic. Be like Andrew Wiggins.