Charlotte Foster


Mon, 17 Jan, 2022

Has Novak's deportation ruined Australia's global reputation?

Has Novak's deportation ruined Australia's global reputation?

The world has turned its attention to the Australian government's handling of Novak Djokovic and his refusal to get vaccinated, in order to compete in the Australian Open. 

As the tennis champion was deported from Melbourne on Monday morning, many spectators of the saga have drawn attention to the Morrison Government's strict border policies. 

Greg Barns from the Australian Lawyers Alliance said it was “dangerous” and “Orwellian” and “deeply troubling in a society supposedly committed to freedom of speech and freedom of thought”.

However, despite the growing outrage in Novak's native Serbia, the notion that the tennis player's deportation has harmed Australia's international reputation is a lie Aussie's should not have to face.

Readers of international publications such as the New York Times, the BBC and NBC News have all celebrated the decision made by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel Novak's visa and uphold the strong Australian borders. 

The Immigration Minister's decision to cancel the visa was supported by the Federal Court of Australia, preventing the tennis champion from competing in the Australian Open. 

“I am so glad this happened! Australia has worked very hard to keep its citizens safe! Kudos to them,” one commenter wrote on a Times story.

“Australia has every single right to enforce their rules and laws, even on celebrities. Get vaccinated,” another wrote.

When the BBC shared the news of his deportation on Facebook, the majority of the comments were in support of the government's decision. 

“Glad they stood their ground, in the end of the day Novak is just another human who should obey the rules,” one person wrote.

Others agreed, writing, “Well done Australia for doing the right thing. You proved once again that you don’t pander to those who try to cheat and lie.

“They’ve done the right thing by their citizens, who have had to live under restrictions (like many of us) for some time now. So someone blatantly lying to avoid the rules isn’t OK. He should’ve done the decent things and gone home days ago.”

Australian journalist Quentin Dempster wrote that the Morrison Government had no choice to deport Novak, given Australia's rising case numbers and hospitalisations. 

“This is a public health crisis,” he wrote on Twitter. “In a democracy free speech also comes with an ethical responsibility not to mislead or incite mass harm. Anti-vaxxers are doing just that. ICUs are clogged, people are dying.”

Djokovic left Australia on a flight to Dubai on Sunday night after the full bench of the Federal Court of Australia ruled unanimously to kick him out of the country. 

Due to the visa restrictions, the world number one champion is banned from entering Australia for three years. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Ben Fordham on 2GB on Monday that Novak "didn't have" a valid exemption to enter Australia unvaccinated.

“He was wrong,’’ Mr Morrison said. “As simple as that. “He didn’t have one and that is the bottom line to that.

“But the idea that someone could come and not follow those rules was just not on.”

Image credits: Getty Images

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