Noval Djokovic is no stranger to controversy. It could be equal pay in Tennis or his stance on vaccinations, the Serbian always takes the scenic route and gets a lot of notoriety for the same.
1. When the pandemic was at its peak, and sporting events were being cancelled, Djokovic organised the Adria tour, which was a large scale series in the Balkans.
A lot of people bought tickets to these games, none of which were being organised behind closed doors. Things went south literally in the second weekend when a few participating players like Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki tested positive for COVID.
2. As if players getting sick wasn't bad enough, Djokovic wrapped up the tour with a riotous party in a Belgrade nightclub.
When scientists and governments across the globe had been telling people to maintain social distancing, Djokovic, one of the greatest sportsmen in the world with millions of followers across social media platforms and otherwise openly defied healthcare norms in the middle of a raging pandemic.
3. Novak Djokovic has had the unique fortune of hitting the line judge.
The World No 1, at the time, Djokovic found himself being booted out of the US Open 2020 for his behaviour. Djokovic had hit a ball out of frustration that had gone on to hit the line judge in the throat.
4. When most of the world was suffering from inadequate supplies during the peak of the pandemic, Djokovic sent a list of demands before the Australian Open 2021 that included a private tennis court for training, reduction of days in the quarantine period during the stay.
The Serbian was severely criticised as people believed that these demands were unreasonable, more so during a worldwide pandemic.
5. Djokovic has gained notoriety for flouting COVID guidelines like wearing a mask.
During the Australian Open 2021, players were taking COVID-19 precautions and were seen wearing masks while entering the court. But not, Djokovic. The Serbian star, in his match in the final against Daniil Medvedev, came out maskless to the court and was passionately booed by the crowd. People were also of the opinion that he should have been fined for not following the rules.
6. When asked to comment on equal payment amongst and women, Djokovic gave a really vague sounding answer but it very much conveyed his opinion on the subject, which was that men attract more audience.
I think that our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators in the men's tennis matches... I think that's one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.
He goes on for a bit making the same point.
I think as long as it's like that and there is data and stats available and information, upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed.
7. Djokovic is also quite fond of his pseudoscience babble. In a web series that he hosts, he claimed to have seen people changing polluted water to 'healing waters' just via spiritual awakening.
I’ve seen people and I know some people that, through that energetical [sic] transformation, through the power of prayer, through the power of gratitude, they manage to turn the most toxic food or the most polluted water, into the most healing water
Why read when you can just watch him say this.
To be clear, Djokovic himself was the one who first introduced this stuff about water changing from emotions into the conversation on his Instagram, saying that mindfulness can make unhealthy food more nutritious, and that dinner table arguments can make good less nutritious. pic.twitter.com/LyJbJTvb9W— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 7, 2020
8. Djokovic has also used the platform to basically promote alternative medicine.
It apparently tastes better with coffee. FYI, if someone tries selling you medicine that is yet to be approved by government offices, it's best not to consume it. It's better if you don't advertise it to your millions of followers across the globe.
And here’s the part where Djokovic’s channel turns into an overt snake oil sales pitch for this guy’s magic potion (which tastes great with coffee!). pic.twitter.com/n7mTNoKxhZ— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 7, 2020
9. During the early days of his career, Djokovic had his teammates film him in the U.S. Open locker room impersonating Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Nadal and Federer.
Rafael Nadal did not take very kindly to this. Although, the two later sorted it out after a game.
I think this is not a show... I think this is a sport. Everyone can do what they want. My opinion, the show or the star is the tennis. It’s not the imitation.
Watch the video here:
10. Novak Djokovic refuses to take his vaccinations, which is why he wasn't allowed to play in the Australian Open.
You could look at it from a million eyes but in the end, this is what it is all about. At a time, when millions have perished to a pandemic and misinformation about the virus and vaccinations are rampant, one of the top Tennis players in the world refusing to take the jab isn't just ignorant, it's egotistically irresponsible.
Never meet your heroes. Never read about them either apparently. God dammit, Novak.