Djokovic’s instrumentalization in Australian political games

Novak Djokovic’s departure for the Australian Open Tennis Tournament received the proportions of a planetary drama in which one part of humanity is for Novak and against the state administration, and the other part against Novak and for the state administration. The detention of the Serbian tennis player at the Melbourne airport, on January 5, lost any sporting significance and turned into a political problem. The responsibility for the drama lies equally with the Australian government and Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic in custody at Melbourne airport awaiting visa or expulsion

Populist abuse of Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, with full right, refused to announce his vaccination status, which did not bother him at other tennis tournaments. The management of the Australian open tournament, which is being played in Melbourne from January 17 to 30, and where Novak is attacking the 10th trophy and the 21st Grand Slam title, approved Djokovic’s arrival based on a medical file. His files were reviewed by two independent commissions and gave a positive opinion, thus securing Novak’s entry into Australia.

However, Novak Djokovic and his team made a poor assessment of the internal socio-political situation in Australia. From numerous reports circulating around the world, we learned that the Australian government, in the last 18 months, has put a lot of pressure on its citizens, demanded absolute obedience and all kinds of measures from them, and suppressed any attempt to protest with violence.

When it came time for tennis tournaments, the government of the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, changed the rules overnight in favor of the big salaries that this sports event brings. By approving the decisions of the tournament, they did not count on the head of the Australian government, who saw this as an exceptional opportunity to improve his shaky position. In order to show how all the hard-handed measures used against the citizens were justified, he attacked Djokovic. In his opinion, it is not possible to impose 262 days of isolation on the citizens, and let the unvaccinated (and, perhaps, vaccinated?) Djokovic enter “just because he is famous and considers himself above the law.”

Naturally, the Australian head of government abused Djokovic and used his status as a planetary star to point out the correctness of his own views in the past. It is the lowest and most basic political manipulation of diverting attention from important problems to a completely unimportant event. The slippage from the rational and reasonable to the irrational and emotional is aimed at sharply dividing citizens and voters into two groups – for and against. Thus, those who believe that not giving a visa to Djokovic are justified, thus indirectly justify all hard-line and undemocratic measures of the Australian government, and give the right to the Australian head of government, increase his political rating and thus survival at the top of the regime.

Considering that Djokovic comes from Serbia, a small and diplomatically unimportant European country, the Australian Prime Minister was able to successfully dramatize his manipulative and demagogic attitude, without any international consequences. If it was an athlete from China, Germany or Great Britain, everything would end in silence and without bullshit.

novice-melbourne-protest

On the streets of Melbourne, many fans supported Novak Djokovic, who is in custody at an immigration hotel

Ignorance of Djokovic’s team

Regardless of the political manipulation of the Australian head of government, Djokovic and his team did not show any knowledge of political mechanisms. Calculating that it is a matter of sports and big money, they did not provide enough when leaving for Australia. Their lack of interest in Australia’s internal political events has made them reckless and exposed to manipulation. They forgot the extent to which the Australian regime did everything to ensure complete control of the country, and thus the longest possible survival in power.

At the same time, part of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the tournament organizers who did not disclose the number of medical exemptions and the names of the excluded athletes. In that way, they created the psychosis that Djokovic is above all systems, more important than other people. This is a major mistake in communication that should not have happened to such a large economic machine, especially not in today’s world when everything depends on skillful communication. In addition, frightened by the lack of big stars – Federer injured, Nadal in bad shape – they wanted to secure Novak’s presence, at all costs.

It can be assumed that the Australian Prime Minister has nothing against the Melbourne tournament, nor against Djokovic, maybe even his fan. However, the opportunity to instrumentalize one of the most important athletes in history in order to improve his own career was so tempting that he, otherwise a populist and demagogue, could not miss it. In that way, he got a strong propaganda resonator box, the sound of which covered the previous abuse of Australian citizens.

novice-melbourne-cup

Novak Djokovic has won the Melbourne Cup nine times so far: On Monday, January 10, the Australian authorities will consider his appeal and may allow him to participate in the tournament and win the tenth trophy.

Djokovic’s politics and economic value

If Djokovic’s appeal is not upheld on Monday, January 10, and if he is expelled from the country, with or without a residence ban for the next two years, the Australian authorities will celebrate the victory. At the same time, Djokovic’s international position will be weakened, as almost all regimes advocate voluntary vaccination, and increasingly compulsory vaccination. Those who do not accept to be vaccinated as many times as they are ordered to do, will have to retire to the margins of social life and stay there until other times come, and maybe forever.

Djokovic’s gesture has been hailed as anti-vaccine, which equates him with a suspect in communist activities in the United States during the 1950s or in capitalist deviations in the USSR. His sponsors, who belong to the supranational economic elite, support the current course of events and will not want to link their image to any anti-vaccination accusations. They need tennis players like Federer and Nadal who have never declared themselves personally or honestly, but have only shown their public image.

In the whole story, there is also an audience that wants and seeks spectacle. Of the big three, the only one who deals with younger players is Djokovic, so the audience is interested in the duels of the new big three – Djokovic, Medvedev and Zverev. That is why it is necessary to wait a few more days for the opinions of the Australian populist government, big capital and Novak Djokovic to be harmonized. At the moment, Djokovic is bringing money to both the organizers and sponsors, so there may be a middle ground where everyone will have to lose something, but also gain.

Let’s hope that, in the future, Djokovic’s team will start consulting political strategists who could analyze his international situation, which would help him no longer be instrumentalized in local or international political power struggles.


Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.

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