No one looks good in the Novak Djokovic Deportation saga, but ponder what it says about the vaccines. We’re deporting the best tennis player in the world — not because of the germs he might spread, but to because of the ideas he might spread.
“It’s in the public interest” says the Immigration Minister
While some are cheering One Rule for All, ponder that we’re punishing someone because of what other people might do?
Djokovic is a political prisoner:
Immigration minister Alex Hawke didn’t dispute Djokovic’s claim of a medical exemption… [he] said allowing the player to stay could sway some Australians against getting vaccinated.
“Mr. Djokovic’s presence in Australia may pose a health risk to the Australian community in that his presence in Australia may foster antivaccination sentiment,” Hawke said in a document detailing his decision.
“His presence in Australia, given his well-known stance on vaccination, creates a risk of strengthening the antivaccination sentiment of a minority of the Australian community,” Hawke said in the cancellation notice.
It’s a free speech battle. And yet Djokovic didn’t come here to make a political point. He wasn’t brandishing his state of unvaccination. He has steadfastly refused to discuss his medical choices.
If Australia can’t guarantee players in a Grand Slam will be free of political interference we don’t deserve to host one. Two other players with medical exemptions arrived in Australia and were moving around freely, but turned around and left after Djokovic was detained. Renata Voracova was deported after being ordered to strip in a six-hour interrogation. Others like Frenchman Jeremy Chardy chose not to come after getting having an adverse reaction to his first dose and deciding not to have the second.
It’s become a global advertising campaign that says “Don’t visit Australia”. Tourism Australia must be cringing.
It’s not “one law for all” when it’s selectively enforced
Some say deporting Djokovic is a victory for “one rule for all”. But only the unvaxxed will be given a legal visa, allowed to fly in, detained, and post hoc have all their details scrutinized by teams of lawyers and be turned into a media circus and a “lesson” for the public.
How many vaccinated tennis players got things wrong on their forms? Who knows? Apparently no one verified the details of Novak’s forms before he was given a visa, so presumably no one checked any other ones either. Will the Australian government go through all the vaccinated players applications now and arrest them on court if any got things wrong?
The unvaccinated are being punished and singled out.
Why did they issue him a visa in the first place?
Seen on Twitter from @TennisSerbia
What sacrifice exactly are we protecting?
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” he said Friday evening.
Perhaps Scott Morrison is afraid that people who had been forced into getting a vaccine they really didn’t want would realize they were bullied into it, and should have had a choice too?
Because we are certainly not protecting the hard border any more. Australia has had 1.5 million cases of Omicron (that we know of) in the last four weeks. All of whom ultimately caught it in a chain from double-vaccinated travellers.
How can you be deported for ‘inciting’ sentiment against a health order that ISN’T mandatory?
In the latest news a judge (or three) will decide Sunday if Djokovic can stay.
January 15, 2022