The mandatory detention of the tennis superstar at Park Hotel has given him new perspective about his life, with the sobering realisation that he no longer wishes to be seen as a massive tool by tennis fans.
In what can probably be termed as the weirdest flex that 2022 has to offer, Novak Djokovic has emerged as the most unlikely celebrity candidate for refugee advocacy, standing against the inhumane mandatory detention policy of Australia.
If sources close to the tennis star are to be believed, the trauma of having his visa cancelled and being held in mandatory detention while awaiting deportation has been a life changing experience for him. He’s disillusioned with tennis and is keen to reform his image. He doesn’t know what else he needs to do to get the same love that Roger and Rafa get from tennis fans all over.
“Frankly, he’s a victim,” says a diehard Djokovic fan. “I don’t see why he needs to be singled out to be made an example of this way. He has 20 Grand Slams for Christ’s sake!”
One way to look at this saga is that this whole episode just plays into Djokovic’s hands. Being held in mandatory detention just fuels his inner rage which tells him he continues to be slighted and he is a victim – that if this were anyone else, no one would bat an eyelid – or worse, if something like this were to happen with Roger or Rafa, they would be riding a whole wave of public sympathy behind them.
Sources suggest Djokovic’s PR team are carefully considering ways to give his public image a ‘market correction’. After the ill-thought strategy of getting his dad to make a public statement made matters worse – he basically compared his son to “Spartacus of the new world” who wouldn’t tolerate “injustice, colonialism and hypocrisy” – the PR team believe they’ve finally found the right strategy. It’s time Novak became a full-time refugee advocate.
“It’s genius, really,” says another source. “Novak already believes he’s the least respected World No.1 male tennis player to have ever played. And this fuels his insecurity complex by pressing the right buttons. He can finally become the true messiah he wants to be seen as by speaking up on behalf of other people who have been unjustly and indefinitely detained as part of Australia’s mandatory detention program.”
Rumblings that Novak might want to consider refugee advocacy have already started to yield results. There’s a new refugee campaign called #AustraliaOpen underway – pitched at tennis players who want to consider refugee advocacy while they’re in Melbourne.
A spokesperson for the new #AustraliaOpen campaign welcomed Novak’s newfound interest in refugee advocacy.
“I’m thrilled to hear that Novak might be considering a career move to refugee advocacy. There are people in Australia, right there at Park Hotel where he is currently, who have been indefinitely detained for almost a decade.”
Refugee advocates who have been campaigning against Australia’s mandatory detention policy for ages are more sceptical of this possible development. According to them, it’s yet another privileged white man hijacking a very real issue, where the voices of those who’ve been detained for years have continued to fall on deaf ears.
Still, 2022 is proof that we’re living in the weirdest timeline. If Djokovic actually decides to become a refugee advocate – or even if his continued detention puts increased scrutiny on Australia’s cruel mandatory detention practices – all bets are off.
This would also give rise to an interesting paradox where antivaxxers and science sceptics, many of whom consider Djokovic to be their poster boy, might also accidentally stand for one of the most progressive and humane policy positions there can be: to finally bring an end to Australia’s mandatory detention program.
Disclaimer: This piece is intended as satire and is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead is intended purely as a satire, parody or spoof of such persons and is not intended to communicate any true or factual information about that person.