Novak Djokovic is one of the world’s best tennis players, but has had some dramatically terrible views on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Serbian tennis star has said he would refuse a vaccine, broke Spanish stay-at-home orders by practicing at a tennis club, and most recently hosted a charity tennis tournament for COVID-19 relief that practiced almost no social distancing and saw players partying in clubs at night.
The tournament was cut short prior to Djokovic playing in the finals after Grigor Dmitrov tested positive after playing in a match, and with the news Tuesday that Djokovic has tested positive, there are now four players that participated in the Adria Tour event that have contracted the virus. Djokovic released a statement on Tuesday (via the Associated Press) apologizing to the players that were infected.
“Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were,” Djokovic said in a statement released Tuesday. “I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine.”
After Djokovic’s announcement, video pulled from Instagram showing the tennis star partying at a club made the rounds on social media and drew quite the response from Nick Kyrgios, who is often criticized for his behavior on the tennis court and said he doesn’t want to hear any of it after what Djokovic did in a pandemic.
Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid – 19. Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake. https://t.co/lVligELgID
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 23, 2020
It’s a fair retort as Kyrgios clearly wants to put into perspective the difference between antics on the court that, while unbecoming and at times uncalled for, are not as serious in the grand scheme of things as ignoring a global pandemic and putting people at risk because you insist you should be able to party.
Djokovic remains asymptomatic and will self-isolate for 14 days, and it will be interesting to see if his personal experience with the virus will change his tone going forward on events taking added precautions and safety protocols.