Events and Attractions

Djokovic's uncertainty for Australian Open draws plenty of reactions

Novak Djokovic is staying in Australia until at least Monday after launching a legal case to stop the federal government from deporting him ahead of the Australian Open later this month. Djokovic’s situation, which stems from his trying to enter the country despite not being vaccinated after attaining a medical exemption from Tennis Australia, has drawn plenty of reaction on TV over the past 24 hours.

DJOKOVIC NEEDS TO SPEAK: ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe said Djokovic needs to “make a public statement to explain his position” for not getting the vaccine. McEnroe: “If he doesn't do that it's going to be raining boos when he takes that court” (“GMA,” ABC, 1/6). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser called Djokovic a “dismissive fellow” and said, “He has been laughing at the Australian people for letting him in, he has been a public anti-vaxxer (and) he has not ever disclosed what the nature of his medical exemption is” (“PTI,” ESPN, 1/5).

NO MATCH FOR GOVERNMENT: ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said Djokovic “tried to get away with a fast one, and somebody just smacked him across the face and said, ‘Get out of here.’ Literally, 'get out of here'” (“PTI,” ESPN, 1/5). ESPN’s Joon Lee noted this is “even messier than the Kyrie Irving situation” given the fact that Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison used his “political power to weigh in” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 1/6). CBS’ Gayle King: “I'm surprised he still wants to play there knowing that there's now this big controversy” (“CBS Mornings,” 1/6). But McEnroe said the situation doesn’t look good for anybody involved, including the Australian government. He said, “You would think they had their ducks lined up in a row. If they let someone get on a plane with this exemption, they would let them into the country” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 1/6).

SAY ONE THING, DO ANOTHER: NBCs Kelly Cobiella said “many Australians who have suffered some of the world's strongest COVID restrictions are not impressed by Djokovic's attempts to enter the country” (“Today,” NBC, 1/6). CNBC’s Becky Quick said, “You can’t have certain people exempted from rules and if these are the rules and they’ve set them, follow them. There’s nothing more frustrating than people telling you, ‘You have to follow the rules, but these other people don’t.’” CNBC’s Mike Santoli: “Especially in a country that has a zero-COVID policy and the public’s been under very stringent requirements” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/6).

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