Novak Djokovic Speaks Out Against the Ban of Russian/Belarusian Players

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Russian and Belarusian players are banned from Wimbledon simply because of where they come from. Clay Travis, while discussing Novak Djokovic’s opposition to the ban, also made the case against it. “This isn’t the Olympics. They don’t represent their country. They represent themselves essentially,” he said.

Novak Djokovic, the 20-time Grand Slam winner is speaking out again about the ban. He framed it differently but also spoke about the unfairness of it.

Clay Travis addressed the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes during his show on Outkick. “I think this is mob rule. I think this is social justice anarchy…Wimbledon got it wrong…the Boston Marathon got it wrong. And I don’t like the precedent that is being set as it pertains to who is allowed to compete for a running championship at the Boston Marathon for a Wimbledon title based on where they happen to be from.”

A brief excerpt of his comments:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC BRAVELY SPEAKS OUT

Novak Djokovic has courageously spoken out off the court over the past year about the ban.

Screenshot from the interview of Novak Djokovic

Wimbledon announced in April that players from Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to compete at the 2022 Wimbledon tournament.

In April, Djokovic voiced his disagreement with the decision. He called the ban “crazy.” Djokovic repeated his opposition to the ban on Saturday.

Mr. Djokovic Understands the Frustration

He understands “the frustration of the Ukrainian people towards Russia and what is happening.”

“What I can say, as a child of a war – several wars actually during the 90’s – I know what it feels like, you know, being in the position, so,” Djokovic said on Saturday. “But on the other hand, I can’t say I fully agree to ban Russian tennis players and Belarusian tennis players from competing indefinitely. “I just don’t see how they have contributed to anything that is really happening. I don’t feel it’s fair.”

Use a Neutral Flag

He believes they would accept playing under a neutral flag. He feels like “they deserve to compete. They are professional athletes.”

“None of them has supported any war,” he said.

The world’s number one tennis player, Daniil Medvedev, will not be allowed to play in Wimbledon, and the ATP announced in May that no ranking points will be awarded at the tournament due to the ban.

“It’s very sensitive,” Djokovic continued Saturday. “Once something like this happens on a big stage, anything you say as a person coming from one or the other country is going to be judged in one way or another. So, I understand both sides and it’s really hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong. But in my heart, as an athlete, putting myself in a position where someone would ban me from playing because of the circumstances and I have not contributed to that, I would not think that’s fair.”

“Let me remind you that back in th ’90s, ’92 to ’96, any athlete from Serbia was not allowed to compete on [the] international stage in any sport, so I know how that feels like, and I know many athletes at that time, I was too young, but athletes that were competing at that time, I know how that has affected their lives. Many of them have left their sport because, you know, four years is a very long time.”

Wimbledon responded. They really regret it but this is their right decision.

“We hugely regret the impact on individual players, but it remains the right decision for us this year,” Chief Executive Sally Bolton said, according to the BBC.

Was it fair or the right decision when people attacked a Russian gas station owner in New Jersey? How fair and correct was it when people vandalized a Russian restaurant and boycotted it? Is it really okay to take a person’s dream and livelihood away because of the politics of the nation they happen to come from? This will come back at us one day.


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