This is the sports news of the day, the first big bomb of 2022: Novak Djokovic will play the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated. He can do this thanks to a medical exemption that has been granted to him, causing a huge media fuss.
Almost certainly neither Djokovic nor his staff members will comment on the news and the Australian government will probably do the same - or rather, it will not. It is certain that the Djokovic case does not fall within one of the four reasons for granting medical exemption.
These are: an acute medical condition that led to hospitalization or major surgery; a recent swab positivity that would lead to a six-month postponement of the vaccine; a serious side effect resulting from the administration of the first dose; mental health conditions that could make the vaccine a risk.
In short: none of this. According to the latest news, the Serbian champion would not be the only player who benefited from medical exemption to be able to play the first Grand Slam of the year. This was stated by Craig Tiley, the director of the tournament, but clearly without giving other names.
It is also clear that the measure adopted is an ad personam matter to allow the nine-time champion to enrich the tournament with his presence. Right? Surely not! Djokovic, who by winning the tournament would overtake Federer and Nadal, becoming the absolute record holder as Slam titles, has certainly not rounded up new fans, quite the contrary.
Public opinion has also sided heavily against him, identifying him, wrongly for the writer, as an enemy to fight. It is not Djokovic who made a mistake in hindsight, but who granted medical exemption. The number one in the world, since he declared his firm position on the vaccine issue, has never backed down, but he cannot be blamed for this.
Serious, indeed very serious, those who, by granting the exemption, have created a dangerous precedent, especially in a country like Australia that has fought with strict restrictions, still in force, against the Coronavirus.
In these hours, haters, criticisms and trials are proliferating on social media, mainly directed at Djokovic himself and, on the other side of the fence, the NoVax world has elected the Serbian as a total idol. The most cutting and incisive tweet is probably the one signed by the journalist Biasin: "This celebration of Djokovic by the noVax universe is curious: he is allowed what they are not allowed.
And they celebrate it. Extraordinary." In Italy, Enrico Mentana was also exposed, asking the world of sport to block Djokovic’s registration in the Australian Open on Facebook. Paolo Condò, on the other hand, referring to Djokovic tweets: "In place of the opponents I would refuse to face him.
As a matter of principle." This is not the right place to convict or not those who decide not to get vaccinated, here we must talk about tennis and it is clear that anyone would like to be able to enjoy Djokovic's presence in 'his' Slam, but it is also sunny that respect and respect equality of rules are worth more than one sample. Or maybe not?