We have been taken for fools: Australia reacts to Djokovic's medical exemption

We have been taken for fools: Australia reacts to Djokovic’s medical exemption


 — Reuters/Geo.tv

The decision to grant Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, a medical exemption to go to Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title has sparked outrage on social media as well as condemnation from other athletes, medical experts, and politicians.

The Serb, who is vying for a record-tying 21st Grand Slam singles trophy, has remained tight-lipped about whether he has been inoculated against the coronavirus.

In a tweet shared on the official Twitter account to wish his fans a Happy New year, Djokovic stated that he has spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break and he is heading down under with a medical “exemption permission” as he headed to Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title.

Djokovic has been outspoken in his opposition to vaccine mandates, pushing for global freedom.

The organisers of the Australian Open promptly reacted with a statement confirming Djokovic’s arrival in Australia for the tournament, which begins on January 17.

“Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts,” the statement said.

Unless there is a legitimate basis for an exemption, the Victorian state government has demanded that all players, staff, and fans attending the Australian Open be fully vaccinated.

Australian social media reacts

Soon after his tweet regarding the medical exemption, the Australians shared their anger over the decision. 

Kevin Bartlett, a former Australian Rules player, stated that Australians have been “taken for fools.” 

A journalist Glenn Greenwald said that while Australian officials have been “flamboyantly insisting they will bar tennis players from their country unless they are vaccinated or have a medical excuse” Djokovic “qualifies for an exemption!”

Here are some more reactions from Australian social media users.

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