January 30, 2023

Unvaxed GOAT Wins Aussie Open

With his resounding victory in a country that had deported him just one year ago, the tennis world’s attention now shifts to the U.S.

The U.S. hasn’t had a truly great male tennis player since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi retired in 2003 and 2006, respectively. That’s a heckuva drought. So you’re forgiven if you have no idea who Novak Djokovic is, or even how to pronounce his last name.

But you ought to know — especially if you appreciate courage, principle, individual liberty, and athletic excellence.

By the way, it’s JOKE-a-vitch.

On Sunday, the 35-year-old Joker, who earned his nickname years ago for his hilarious impersonations of fellow tennis players both male and female, whipped third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to win a record 10th Australian Open title and draw him even with rival Rafael Nadal for the most major singles titles in history, 22.

“I think he’s the greatest who has ever held a tennis racket,” said Tsitsipas after the final. “The numbers speak for themselves. He has earned it with so much dedication he’s put in and professionalism.”

But it’s not so much what Djokovic did as how he did it. A year ago, as our Nate Jackson reported, the Serbian was detained and ultimately deported from Australia by its Liberal Party Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who revoked his visa for having refused to disclose his vaccination status. “People must be considered fully vaccinated … to gain quarantine-free entry into Australia,” said Morrison in defense of his nation’s onerous and scientifically dubious “zero COVID” regulations.

So Djokovic, the prohibitive favorite to defend his Aussie title last year, was denied the opportunity to do so because he’d chosen not to get the COVID-19 vaccination — a decision that, for healthy young people, has been resoundingly borne out by the science. And this despite his having acquired natural immunity through two prior COVD infections.

In addition, Djokovic’s vax status kept him from defending his U.S. Open title last summer as well, due to the CDC’s mandate that non-U.S. citizens must be vaccinated before entering the country — unless, of course, they enter our country by walking across its wide-open southern border.

In any case, Djokovic’s ban from both the U.S. and Australia is a disgrace — or, in the case of Australia, was a disgrace. As Fox News reports: “With Australia loosening its restrictions and providing a visa for Djokovic to compete, attention has shifted to what the United States will do ahead of the U.S. Open’s start in August. Earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration announced an extension of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for non-U.S. citizens to enter the country through April 10.”

As for the men’s field in Melbourne, they didn’t stand a chance. The Joker lost just one set in the entire tournament. “I just have to say this,” said a classy Djokovic during the trophy ceremony. “Only the team and family knows what we’ve been through in the last four or five weeks. This probably, I would say, is the biggest victory in my life, considering the circumstances.”

OutKick’s Clay Travis opines: “One year after being banned from Australia for refusing to take the worthless covid shot, [Djokovic] wins the Aussie Open. This is what actual bravery, conviction, and validation looks like. Love it. Novak is the GOAT and he was 100% right on the covid shot.”

“I love Novak Djokovic because he’s always been so poised, and he’s been so polite in the face of this,” said Fox News’s Tom Shillue. “He stood on principle. And I wish more athletes did the same thing.”

Indeed. The vaccination mandate issue has largely divided Americans — and the rest of the world — along political lines, but it shouldn’t, at least not where young, strong, healthy people are concerned. So the onus now shifts to the Centers for Disease Control, which has the ability to rescind the rule that currently keeps one of the world’s greatest athletes — and arguably the greatest tennis player in history — from so much as setting foot on our soil.

As it stands now, our nation’s ban of Novak Djokovic due to his personal decision to refuse the experimental COVID vaccination is a disgrace and an embarrassment.

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