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Serbs Him Right, No Djokes (Part 2)

The Djokovisa story is finally over.

First, Alex Hawke-eye ruled him out. Then the Fed ( I mean Federal Courts ).

Lots have been written, discussed, punned, memed, joked about it etc. So, no point going on and on about it.

Novak has himself only to blame. And has to face the consequences. Could have stayed back at home and behaved like a true World Number One and made a ‘role model’ name for himself.

Opportunities for winning that 21st title will be plenty, even if he had missed the AO. But the opportunity to show that he is a man above all this numbers game and that he can stick to his principles has now vanished into thin air.

In the final analysis, this is my take.

Roger Federer is the God of tennis but doesn’t behave like one.

Novak Djokovic is no tennis God but behaves like one !!!

Serbs Him Right, No Djokes (Part 1)

Murli Pillai

Fanatic Federer fan. Watch all his matches on TV if shown ( outside working hours ! ), and quite often drive down to Dubai from Muscat to watch him live. Apart from being an IT / Telecom sales professional, am a quiz-master, classic rock & blues fan, movie buff and a veteran tennis-ball cricketer. Love to research on Fed’s on-court & off-court doings – the Fedberg quiz an outcome of that.

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56 Comments

  1. I would agree the best stance would be the same one as Tennys Sandgren took – boycott the event.

    However, what has happened to Djokovic is extremely dangerous for the world.

    He has been treated by the totalitarian state as a pariah, purely because he avoided taking a novel gene therapy and exercised bodily autonomy.

    Australia is now a failed society. And since the Australian government can revoke a visa for whatever reasons it wants and there’s no legal recourse against that, then the obvious conclusion to make is they shouldn’t be allowed to host a Grand Slam ever again.

    1. Not a fan of mandates at all. But I am a fan of Democratically Elected officials of Soveriegn nations being able to decide the rule of law for those nations and calling foreign nationals to respect those laws. Citizens can vote them out. It’s already Happening in the US (see e.g. Virginia gov race).

      National Review has it right:

      “ Australia, like the United States and every other country with a democratic government, passes some bad laws through its democratic institutions. (Non-democratic governments tend to have much worse laws, but the democratic context matters here.) Bad laws passed by democratic institutions can be repealed or amended by those same institutions. People can vote against those laws and against the politicians who support them. That isn’t the end-all-be-all of good government — we have a Bill of Rights to put certain questions beyond the reach of democratic majorities — but it works pretty well, when the people let it work.”

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/01/so-long-djoker/

      Ps – not sure Novak “lied”, but it was absolutely his sole responsibility to be truthful and accurate and he needs to accept the consequences.

      1. You realise he was removed from Australia by the power of one individual’s special powers, that overruled the original court decision, and it was because he “could become an icon for freedom of choice” right?!

      2. It is not exactly “freedom of choice”. And the “original court decision” was based mainly on technical – that Djoko did not have enough time to defend his entering (e.i. contacting his lawyers), – not about the the border’s decision in itself.
        Here is more about the last hearing-appeal, where Hawke’s official reasons are cited plus the reasons from the 2 partie’s lawyers https://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/australian-open/live-novak-djokovic-court-hearing-updates-result-of-visa-cancellation/news-story/5f941dd26abe1171e4a7f2e63644b05b

      3. Herre is what I found: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/AlexHawke/Pages/statement-regarding-mr-novak-djokovic.aspx
        And further:
        Mr Hawke also responded late on Sunday night. “I welcome today’s unanimous decision by the Full Federal Court if Australia, upholding my decision to exercise my power under the Migration Act to cancel Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa in the public interest,” he said.
        “Australia’s strong border protection policies have kept us safe during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries, and highest vaccination rates in the world. Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to safe-guarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen during the pandemic.
        “Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point and the Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect.”
        Immigration Minister Alex Hawke made the decision just before 6pm AEDT yesterday, cancelling the nine-time Australian Open champion’s visa “on health and good order grounds”.
        He claimed it was “in the public interest to do so”.

      4. I admit that his stance about the vaccination and possible admission in Australia in spite of it could be used as “an icon for anti-vaccination groups” was part of the argumentation during the hearing, to stress the significance of the concern. But that wasn’t part of the grounds for the verdict, as far as I understand. We still miss the 3 judges’ reasons of the unanimous verdict, promised to come.

      5. It was the only reason Hawke used his ‘powers’. There was zero argumentation on paperwork etc. That ruling was finished, he won the case.

        Then the whole appeal was based on merit-based arguments, it was garbage “he said, she said” hearing from his legal team. Who appears to have a rather worrying conflict of interests.

      6. I think Australia’s Democratically elected officials can establish law as Australia’s constitution gives them authority to. Australian’s should vote them out as needed if they don’t like the policies and leaders.

        Constitutional Democracy is not efficient but in the long run it’s better than anything else we’ve come up with in 5000 years.

        Novak sought a loop hole not really intended for anti-vaxxers with a bad faith performance in the run up as he treated his infection without regard to the laws of his own country and the visa question on travel with carelessness.

        I don’t blame the health ministry for not wanting him there and – it doesn’t matter what I or any of us think.

        It’s not our country to lead.

        Novak should have gotten vaxxed or stayed home on the principle of his convictions like Sandgren.

        It’s not all his fault, but I’m glad he was not able to get by on the basis of inconsistencies and miscommunication around him.

      7. “Novak sought a loophole not really intended for anti-vaxxers with a bad faith”

        The term anti-vaxxer kills credibility, it is a slur.

        Djoker won his court case, then an MP used a special power to remove his visa on the grounds he would “become an icon for free choice”. That is crazy and dangerous.

      8. Ok. Take out “anti-vaxxers”. I am sorry if that was a “slur”. I honestly did not know it was a slur to you. It is not such the cae where I live. And I have no dog in that fight, so I am sorry.

        But here are the facts (as they seem plain to me):

        Novak sought to use a reason for exemption (prior infection) that was twice cited as invalid to TA/Tilly by the relevant authorities in the run-up to the open, (and certainly before Novak argued this reason). I.e., So how ever he got his initial visa, it should never have been granted; and it was a mistake by the government.

        Border Authorities denied him entry for lack of documentation to support his visa and canceled it; as is their right.

        The first judge finally struck this cancellation down (as is his right), but – not on the merits of Novak’s visa – but on the grounds of procedural misconduct the BA – they did not give him the time to get his support in order in the time frame they said they would.

        Hawke then used the authority (as is his right) to revoke Novak’s visa in a way that bypassed all questions of the initial merit of the visa by simply saying Novak could be a risk. Was Haweke’s justification arbitrary? No. He cited – among other things – Novak’s behavior in Serbia after his positive tests; wherein the world #1 engaged with the public without quarantining AND never told anyone he was positive (it was only discovered through all of this mess) – though he knew all of this. That, and his 100% false statement on a visa application, could have led him to fines and even jail time in either country (I believe).

        If Novak wanted to make a case he should have a right to enter a sovereign nation with such strict laws on Covid (whether you agree with them or not) he should have been much more respectful of the laws of his own nation as well as showing the care needed to not make a false statement on Australia’s visa application (not to mention the question of how he has treated Spain’s immigration laws).

        Why Novak behaved this way is a question only he can answer, but prior statements on Covid, vaccination, science in general, and his own Adria Tour don’t make a strong case that his attitudes are congruent with the leadership of Australia.

        But if you take out issues of motivation and the larger discussion of Australia’s covid policies – justified or not – and just consider the record of how this man has treated the laws of the nations around him – why would anyone argue his right of entry?

        Entry to a foreign sovereign nation is not a right, it is a privilege. Novak treated his own nation’s laws with serious disregard. He falsified his application to another nation.

        It’s not rocket science.

      9. This is all correct, but it wasn’t the grounds for his cancellation so they are moot points. He was guilty of thinking differently to the Australian government or as you put it “”his attitudes are not congruent with the leadership of Australia.” And that is why it was revoked. Hawke himself admitted he entered Australia legally.

        Btw, do you know if these politicians have been banned in advance should they wish to enter Australia?? https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1464838651939110912 there is some heavy anti-vax sentiment there!

        Also, most of what you are referring to as ‘laws’ that he has supposedly broken regarding covid, are not laws. They are rules.

      10. You wrote: “This is all correct, but it wasn’t the grounds for his cancellation so they are moot points.”

        That’s not true. Hawke explicitly cited – on the record – Novak’s behavior after his December test:

        ““Mr Djokovic is … a person of influence and status…Having regard to … MR. DJOKOVIC’S CONDUCT AFTER RECEIVING A POSITIVE COVID -19 RESULT, his publicly stated views, as well as his unvaccinated status, I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may encourage other people to disregard or act inconsistently with public health advice and policies in Australia.”

      11. His visa was revoked for wrong think because he may be seen as an anti-vax icon. That’s the reason. All the stuff you are producing has no relevance to the hearing. These grounds were not argued on.

        In fact, the Australian government didn’t claim Djokovic violated the law. Actually, the opposite, they acknowledged that he entered Australia legally with a legal visa. Watch the hearing. I did.

        And I believe that empowering governments to deport people or deny them the right to earn a living due to their political opinions is an act of totalitarianism/authoritarianism.

      12. You keep saying that and I yet I am quoting you what Hawke actually said in his filings to the court:

        “Having regard to … Mr Djokovic’s conduct after receiving a positive Covid-19 result, his publicly stated views, as well as his unvaccinated status, I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may encourage other people to disregard or act inconsistently with public health advice and policies in Australia.”

        So what was “Mr Djokovic’s conduct after receiving a positive Covid-19 result” that Hawke refers to before the court in his reasons for canceling his visa?

      1. I have read a good many articles about it. It seems there were some strange turns and and some not correct information. So firstly the authorities got to the conclusion that the exemption was not valid. Then the 1. judge made the visa valid again, because he found that ND did not get enough time etc to defend it. Then Hawk used his power to do it unvalid again, finding (as far as I think) that allowing Novak in would make the hard fight from government AND people against the pandemic with heavy offerings seem unserious. The 3 judges on ND’s and his lawyers’ appeal of this made their decision alongside the government, deciding unanimously that Hawke had a right to cancel ND’s visa, no. 1 in tennis or not.

      2. Tilley and/or TA was sent a letter (possibly two) ahead of time – in a November – stating that prior Covid infection was NOT a valid reason for exemption.

        Novak’s prior Visa grant before boarding did not nullify his need to submit to on site review by Boarder Authority upon arrival.

        Novak’s careless and illegal behavior in Serbia upon his own positive test and his untruthful answers on the visa application left him vulnerable the broad authority the Health Minister is accorded by Australian law to label him a public threat. It’s absolutely his right to do what he did.

        The 3 judges unanimously agreed.

        You may not agree with it, but it’s the law down under.

        All of this was privy to Tilly as well as Djokovic before he came.

        Novak should have been much more careful.

      3. This is wrong.

        The government conceded that he fell within the scope of legal requirements for a vaccine exemption and had entered the country legally.

        He was deported solely due to comments he made in 2020 that implied scepticism about vaccines.

        He was punished for a thought crime. But of course, the fanatics are like “Muhhh democracy, vote them out if you don’t like it, jab me harder, give me more booster, muhh public health”

      4. Hey Jonathan, from where have you your information? My informations agree with what Alb tells. The Tennis Australia had 2 letters – the first 18. of November from the authorities of health, AND Tiley got a second 11 days later from the health minister, according to Jeppe Laursen Brock, writing about tennis sport in the usually credible paper “Politiken” today . I translate (to my best English) his (to Danish) translated quotations from the letter of 18. of November from the authorities of health: “People that having had the covid-19 earlier without having the vaccine, are not reckoned as fully vaccinated (..) People to fall in this category, will not be approved to admittance free of quarantine”. And the second 11 days later from health minister Greg Hunt: “People must be fully vaccinated (…) in order to get quarantine free admittance to Australia”. So the medical excemptions from the “independent panel of experts” appointed by Tennis Australia were given on a basis that the country did not accept.
        Tiley explains, that there were so many ongoing contradictoring informations. But maybe he should have secured with the border officers – they seemingly acted according to those letters. ND was’nt the only one to get in the scrape – for example the doubles player Renata Voracava also got papers from Tennis Australia with med. excemption to enter without vaccine, and got her visa cancelled (at the border, I suppose). –

      5. I watched the hearing. The reason for his cancellation had ZERO to do with his Visa. The government didn’t even argue that. His exemption was valid, and he entered Australia legally. Hence why he won that, and practised several times in Melbourne. He was removed on grounds that he had expressed anti covid vaccination sentiments in 2020 and may become an icon for freedom of choice. Pitifully, his legal team only produced merit-based arguments.

        All you lot arguing along lines of “well he did this on his visa, he should have got jabbed etc” are expressing stuff that had nothing to do with the decision on Sunday.

      6. Thanks for the answer, Jonathan. I respect that you heard this long hearing through. What I heard in between and read about it afterwards, accords with this, that the goverment’s lawyers didn’t go into the legal. But they did tell about his behavior of what may be, by some, including me, seen as significantly irresponsible so short after having had positive test. It is not legal in Serbia too. But never mind, now, some/you see as positive freedom of choice to what I see as negative irresponsibility – just different opinions, which I guess we’ll never agree on. – One thing only: He got his visa back in the first court process because of procedural reasons, not because of medical exemption.

      7. 2 letters went to the TA assisting Novak from the Federal government denying the exemption Novak would ultimately use on his visa.

        Surely Hawke knew this. But he wasn’t going to engage that issue.

        Hawke literally said on the record, “I will assume that Mr. Djokovic’s position is correct rather than seeking to get to the bottom of this here”. It was his choice, for the sake of argument, not to try to “get to the bottom of this here”. Obviously, he believed there was something to be gotten to the bottom of.

        But he knew his easiest way to win the case was to avoid visa arguments and use the discretion accorded him by law. However it’s clear in his statements above he wasn’t looking to endorse Novak’s visa claims, but to bypass them.

        What Hawke DID cite in his decision among other things, was “Mr Djokovic’s conduct after receiving a positive Covid-19 result” – which included disregard for even Serbian law as well as disregard for the health of those he was with after he was positive (both in unlawful contact and lack of disclosure of his own infection for their safety). Not to mention Novak’s false statement on his application and potentially unlawful disregard for Spain’s laws.

        So Hawke used the tools he had, but this doesn’t mean Novak’s behavior or his Visa app truly merited entry.

        As one attorney put it – it became an issue of legal expediency for the government:

        “The requirements as to a medical exemption were made known by the one federal agency with the authority to do so. That same agency twice reiterated the same requirements by letter to Tennis Australia, who was assisting Djokovic with his application.

        [but] The minister opted for the route he did because not only is the judge’s role far more clear in terms of the issues he is being asked to clarify but also the appeals process is radically different. Otherwise, we could have had a trial for many days and then an appeal lasting several days as well.”

  2. I despise Novak, but he (and everyone) should play the event, and he was treated like a criminal.
    Australia is a failed society and an ex-western country.

    1. Through common sense.

      The only people who are on the side of the government are under “mass formation”

      Australia is now a totalitarian state.

      Read the work of Hannah Arendt and you might have a chance of working it out…

      1. “The only people who are on the side of the government are under “mass formation”” This sounds too simple for me. Hannah Ahrendt may be wise, but i like to think for myself. And discuss from more than a sentence and a name

      2. I looked it up, and was told (now translated from Danish) : “The work is acknowledged in several places as one of the most important works in 20. cent. And it has actual significance as ever. In January 2017 – immediately after Donald Trump was installed as president, it was sold out on American Amazon as part of the increase of interest in books about totalitarism. The Washington Post has stressed the work as a necessary key to understand the development in USA just now (2019). And you may add the development in Russia, China and more countries in South America and Europe”.– And – ?

      3. Jonathan 😊 Yes, I want to think for myself, remembering..😁 but I also want to hear about others’/your opinion. And to tell my own in exchange…

      4. It would be interesting to hear what someone from North Korea thinks of someone calling Australia a “totalitarian state”.

        But of course we’re unlikely to hear from them because NK really is a totalitarian state.

        Aussies elected the leaders who appointed these officials and can vote them out and sue to have policies / laws changed. Not easy. Not quick. But it happens here in the US plenty.

        Can’t do that so much in a totalitarian state.

      5. NONE of the lockdowns travel bans, business closures have lasted in my region in the States – they were never meant to and they haven’t. I thank God – literally.

        Even omicron’s much greater infection rate hasn’t ushered in a return to the temporary policies that were rescinded after the first wave subsided, (laws that were rescinded without marches or revolutions or even elections).

        Things are pretty much back to normal where I live. None of the doomsday scenarios have played out so far.

        Even our Supreme Court struck down a massive portion of Biden’s mandates a few days ago. Yay for court fights and balance of powers!

        Australia, Britain, and America are still nation’s governed by laws and elections. People can vote and sue and they do and it’s been pretty good. These governments and laws are not perfect and never were (remember when people could literally own people??) but they are not totalitarian regimes.

        Not yet.

      6. And if you move the “goalposts” of what constitutes “totalitarian” than there is no point in discussing until we have a common frame of reference.

        In my country, I can still go to the church of my choice, peacefully protest abortion in the streets if I choose, vote how I like – or not – regardless of my skin color or family class, and read the newspapers I want. I can even go to Wal-Mart and buy a gun I have no need for right now. (Not even sure how I feel about that last one.)

        But so can everyone I know.

        I can’t stand many of the policies of the current president and his party here, I fear the tsunami of woke-ism and gender-word policing to name a couple of issues I might end up in prison for refusing to submit to someday if things get out of hand, but neither could I stand the lying of the past president – and how willing he was to vacate a relatively fair election for his ego.

        But none that makes us totalitarian. Not yet.

        There will always be extremes on the left and right to ward off. But that’s the price of democracy.

        Some day it will probably end by self-destruction, or foreign enemy, or the direct hand of God.

        But I know enough history of real totalitarian regimes to both be cautious of the ever-brewing storms without being hopeless that we’ve fully capitulated.

        I would say the same is true – I think? – of the UK and Australia.

      7. I am not saying the USA is, they have an armed militia. The one thing that can stop tyranny in its tracks.

        Australia is seriously screwed. Whether it fits the classical definition of totalitarianism or not. The government have acted in a totalitarian manner for 2 years, and it continues to grow.

  3. There are so many layers to this story. Covid has brought out the best and the worst in humanity. I am not a fan of Djokovic yet when I awoke this morning and saw the news, my heart sank. Public opinion drives politics and that seems to drive the “rules”. Did he do anything wrong? Well, yes, the wrong box ticked. Is he a threat to the gov’t and citizens of Australia? They seem to think so. Is he a threat to the health and safety of Australia…come on. There are a recorded 1.17 million cases of Covid in a population of less that 26 million people. 90% vaccinated…hmmm. I don’t think he is a threat. But they think his anti-vax stance is a threat. People just might think maybe there is a better way out of this?

    I have family in Australia. They live in a rural area and have gone about their lives in a fairly normal way. I do recall them saying during lock down if one was on the beach you had to keep moving. If you stopped and sat in the sand, the police would come. Is that science?

    Djokovic has made some pretty bad decisions throughout his career. His decision to go to Australia shone a light on so many issues. People are polarized now on what is “right” and “wrong”.
    I really don’t think this is over.

    1. Sue, I agree that his playing might not have endangered the other players and tennis folks in any high degree. But…lots of people think he cheated his way in and became very angry over his possible special treatment. It’s not just this one point of false information about his traveling Serbia and Spain shortly before Melbourne (there was special warning to fill this out correctly). There also seems strange things about his tests, the dates of them, his behaviour immediately after. He blames on others and explains a little unbelievably – to me, and possibly others. So…Sorry to say, I was a little relieved of the outcome, but sad of the whole thing

  4. Yes, it would have been better for all for him to stay home. He choice was to apply for a visa to enter Australia and permission to play with exemptions. He was granted both…at the beginning. So, I feel this mess is on the government.
    I do agree the timeline of things seems fishy though. I wonder if they will ban him for 3 yrs?

    1. The permission to enter with exemptions seems not granted by the border-authorities. But I believe he was in good faith of having it and very surprised when he was not let in on arriving. So I think the mess was on those who granted him the permission not clearing with the border-officers. – Me thinks they won’t ban him the 3-years! The covid situation may be very different next year, and hopefully without reason to keep him out…

  5. The reason I enjoy this particular blog is to learn about tennis and to interact with rabid tennis fans 🙂 So from that perspective, so glad that the NJ “game, set and vax” affair is over (at least physically) in Australia. I know it will come around again. Just wish he had packed his bags after he got the (second) send off rather than dragging it on and screwing up the draw. Roger may not be in Melbourne (which is crushing actually!!!) but there are dozens of other men and women that I’m keen to watch and cheer for and get frustrated by, and learn about what they’ve been up to. Roger classed things up even with his absence with that celebratory message for Kokkinakis.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Australia, and had tix at the Australian Open one year, 4th round. It was an incredible experience, although very very hot! Just wish I was there to watch the games in person, weather looks to be great over the next few days 🌞 Happy watching folks

  6. If it is true, the judges see Djokovic as a threat to the country for his opinions, then we are in big trouble. I thought democracy was about freedom of speech. Have we ever witnessed this before? Seems to be the norm in most countries. If a person doesn’t believe this vaccine is for them in some way, then they are demonized and must be punished. Punished whether it’s not being allowed to join society, travel, see loved ones, etc. People are now in a state of mind that this is justice.

    1. Sue, I doubt that it’s meant mainly as punishment, more as a motivation for taking part in the shared fight and protection against the pandemic virus. I agree it sometimes is acted out too severely, creating resistance instead of motivation. That would be a disaster. As it is, from my opinion, the antivaxers for now are freewheeling on the big majority who take the jabs. If they grow in numbers, the pandemi would be freewheeling, and that may do harm to all, the anti’s included.

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