Tennis player Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, compared his son to Jesus and said Australian authorities are “trying to crucify and belittle Novak” by keeping him “prisoner” in hotel detention in Melbourne.
The nine-time world champion was headed to play in the Australian Open but had his visa cancelled on arrival after a dispute over his medical exemption to play in the championship without a Covid vaccine.
Djokovic was taken to a government detention hotel where he will remain until a court ruling on Monday which will decide on his deportation.
According to BBC, organisers of the tournament said that Djokovic had been granted medical exemption by two independent medical panels organised by the state of Victoria and Tennis Australia, a body running the Australian Open. The experts however, do not have a say in the matter.
Time and again, Djokovic has opposed Covid vaccines. A BBC report states that, in April 2020 the tennis player said he wants to choose what's best for his body. He added that he "wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine" to travel or compete in tournaments.
The player is "curious about wellbeing and how we can empower our metabolism to be in the best shape to defend against imposters like Covid-19."
The Djokovic family held a press conference in Belgrade during which they condemned the treatment of their son by the Australian authorities. Djokovic’s brother said he was being treated as a “criminal” while his father said his “son was being held captive.”
He also compared Djokovic’s situation to the crucifixion of Jesus.
The Daily Mail reports that calling Serbian people and the rest of the world to “rise up,” Djokovic’s father challenged the Australian politicians and border agents to tried to “humiliate” his son.
Australia’s deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce responded to Djokovic’s family saying the player must be deported if he lied on medical records. Accusing Djokovic of taking Australia “for a joke,” Joyce added that “rich people are not above the law.”
Twitter users however think otherwise. Many are accusing the Australian government of discriminating against Djokovic.
Meanwhile others think that Djokovic could’ve prevented all this “drama” by just getting vaccinated.