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Backhanded Compliments: Djokovic’s taste of the real world was unquestionably deserved

When Novak Djokovic makes headlines, it's never good. Even when he wins another tournament, tucks another record into his pocket and shows the world he might be the greatest tennis player to ever live, it's met with a sigh — because it's impossible to truly love the guy after everything he's done off the court.

Djokovic has openly been an anti-vaxxer way before COVID-19 ever existed, and that's his choice. He's exposing an unbelievable number of people every day with nearly every disease under the sun, but that's unfortunately his choice. If you don't want to get vaccinated, though, be prepared to face the consequences. 

The No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world getting his visa canceled shouldn't send anyone into a frenzy. His parents shouldn't run to the streets and compel the rest of the world to stand behind their son (side note: you can tell just how lovely of people his parents are by their comments on unproblematic king Roger Federer). His visa was canceled because his agent messed up, and his medical exemption was questioned because it didn't add up until he divulged the truth later. Anyone else in his shoes would've had to go through the same ordeal.

Djokovic's visa was reinstated after virtual court because of his deep pockets and his known-all-too-well name. The Australian government showed their fairness when they pulled Djokovic aside at the airport and investigated his papers but revealed their cowardice when they gave his visa back to him. A second visa block by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke isn’t the country trying to target Djokovic. It should be a warning to him, his team, his parents and all his fans that this isn’t a game. It never was. The only game he should be playing is with a yellow ball.

If you don't hate him for the events of the past couple weeks, hate him for the newspaper staff he exposed, for the children he conversed with all while knowing this disease that has killed thousands and thousands is raging inside him, all of which he fully admitted. The only thing Djokovic will never acknowledge is his self-serving attitude, though that's about as evident as the cockiness lighting up his eyes.

The news of Djokovic being officially deported from Australia, which means he potentially won’t be able to return to Australia and his best major tournament for three years, is jarring. To see someone who has always had his way finally be put in his place almost feels like a breath of fresh air, like there still is some hope left in the world. This could just be a fluke since nothing seems to go right anymore, but we can keep our fingers crossed.

If you feel bad for poor ol’ Djokovic, you’re part of the problem. This is far from the worst thing that’s ever happened in athletics, let alone the sport (remember Monica Seles, who was stabbed during a match in 1993 and her entire career was derailed following the incident?) Just because he's great at the sport doesn't mean he should be exempt from all repercussions. You can be a world-class player without being a self-serving clown. Let him savor this taste of the real world, and let him reflect on his actions from afar as he watches his Australian Open winning streak get snapped.

Bre Offenberger is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and is also managing editor of The Post. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Bre? Tweet her @bre_offenberger.

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