Novak Djokovic and trying to understand the tennis-Jesus division | Novak Djokovic

“Global change will happen when every individual finds the courage to wake up from mass amnesia.” Yes, I’ve read Novak Djokovic’s wellness guru’s personal manifesto so you don’t have to.

It’s no secret that the world’s No.1 Covid outlaw, currently awaiting his fate in a nice Melbourne hotel, is a longtime student of someone called Chervin Jafarieh, described, on his own website, as “one of the most respected and influential health experts in the world”. Jafarieh is a familiar type, magnetic personality, good looking and piercing spirit guide who accepts all major credit cards and looks like he could smell musk and whale song and concentrated human power as he stands a little too close to you in the elevator.

The manifesto is lush and persuasive, and frankly, it speaks volumes. The guy from Novak is worried about pollution and climate change, as well as “militarism, urbanization, the burning of carbon, the mining of metals and toxic materials, the manufacture of chemicals and of biological poisons ”. He’s mostly obsessed with the intake and the body, and that seems to be the problem with Djokovic’s reluctance to get vaccinated, at least in public. Djokovic hosted his own super-broadcast event, provided an anti-science model, but he also bought ventilators for hospitals, set up a Covid fund, and did generous, charitable, and believing-type things.

It’s not some alien lizard thing. This is not the great human slaughter or the mock demo. Instead, the resistance seems to come from elsewhere, from sunny pagodas where magnetic people in crisp linen gowns talk about their energy, their aura, their yacht, a place of mental power and purity of the. blood, bamboo silica supplements and organic chocolate products. Longevity of mushrooms.

For Djokovic, physical control is a kind of religion in itself, the superpower that turned him into a miracle of middle age athleticism, a wonder of twang and flex and pull energy. He’s an all-time athlete who has eliminated gluten, dairy, sugar and meat, who starts the day with celery juice and pre-dawn yoga, who believes it’s us, the ones who keep slaughtering animals, eating chemicals, pumping carbon, which is, frankly, the problem, which says things like “our whole body is a harmonic system that perfectly manages all of its metabolic functions” .

So, is he going to get this man-made chemical injected into his biceps, the one he uses to distribute his hyper-organic uber tennis? Same bad stuff, people who drink McNugget like me and you keep telling him it’s the duty of the species? No he is not.

And yes, it’s boring and weird and based on a specter of Ãœbermensch pseudo-science. But being weird isn’t a crime yet, just as not taking a vaccine isn’t a crime, even when you combine it with the maddening arrogance of trying to get into Australia with a medical exemption, rather than to just stay away. by basic good manners. And really, why even go into all of this? Why try to humanize and understand the most controversial athlete in the world today?

“For Novak Djokovic, physical control is a kind of religion in itself, the superpower that turned him into a middle-aged sports miracle, a wonder of twang energy and bending and pulling.” Photograph: Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images

First, because it’s better than the default options of General Condemnation Rage or Unconditional Hero Worship. And also because there are two points that can easily get lost. The first is that sport is used here as an amplifier, the stage for an ugly and manipulative political play.

How stupid is Novak Djokovic? Dumb enough to allow himself to be used as a pawn by Scott Morrison, a dead organically raised cat thrown across the table as a welcome distraction for the election year. Morrison offered a revealing aside during a TV interview this week. Yes, the Australian Prime Minister confirmed with a soft laugh, his border force operates on intelligence, hunches and previous public statements. And so, it is, by extension, a good stroke of opportunism, a staged humiliation. Morrison has been under pressure because of a fragile administration, a lack of test kits, a wildfire of new Covid cases. How do you appear strong and fat at the same time on the details all at once? Come in, yogurt boy.

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And during this time, the positions are well anchored. No one learns or changes their mind. Why am I even trying to explain and humanize the anti-vaccine credo of the world’s most vilified refusnik? I guess the most drastic thing you can do right now is try to see both sides. Personally, I am highly vaccinated. Hang me up baby. Protect me and my immediate contacts with the best science available. I’ll swallow it and (probably) fail to run a mile.

But it’s also essential to understand that some might have another point of view, that being suspicious of what you put into your body is not beyond comprehension. Athletes lead a strange pampered life. But in the UK, at least, the low participation of Premier League footballers also accurately reflects the mistrust and vulnerability to ‘alternative truths’ of all people their age, especially those from economically and socially disadvantaged groups. Coercion and rebuke, talking about ignorant millionaires: that gets us nowhere.

This is the most practical point. Sport really needs clarity and long term planning or it will continue to amplify these problems, to be militarized by those with an agenda. Obviously, all sports organizations need to resist the urge to interfere and put pressure on the issue of who can enter a particular country.

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This applies to various upcoming events, from Roland Garros, which offers the possibility of a resumption of the current theater, to the trip from Chelsea to Lille in the Champions League. Beyond that, we have the delicate prospect of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The final word, not yet publicly confirmed, is that unvaccinated players will receive an exemption from Qatar rules, which requires the jab.

Maybe everyone involved is hoping this will just go away. The lessons of Melbourne and the tennis-Jesus events are that without clarity the sport will remain a megaphone for rage and confusion; just another note, as Chervin himself might put it, in great amnesia.

‘If it were me …’: tennis players respond to Novak Djokovic visa saga – vidéo

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