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Novak Dokovic: A Big Point

Even the best athletes in the world like Novak Dokovic are treated like you and me. In times when many viewers are turning away, that's a good sign.

Even the president had called. All of Serbia was with him, Aleksandar Vucic had assured his most prominent citizen. The "harassment" must come to an end, Serbia will fight within the framework of international law, namely "for Novak, truth and justice". 

Vučić didn't have it much smaller that day. Serbian diplomats were of course also involved. Because of someone who is just particularly good at knocking a ball covered with felt around.  

Nevertheless, Novak Dokovic will now spend his time isolated in a hotel. He is not allowed in, he does not want to go out. In the next few days, lawyers will bend over his exemption and Australian legal texts and decide whether Đoković is now allowed to the Australian Open or not. 

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He is not allowed to stand now and the matter is already a success. Especially for sport, which sounds a bit strange when the best tennis player in the world just can't do his sport. But this is about something bigger. 

The decision of the Australian authorities shows an attitude: Celebrities have to abide by the rules, including the best athletes in the world. It is Dokovic's right not to be vaccinated.

But it is also Australia's right (and even its duty) not to let Dokovic into the country. Just like Australia does with all other unvaccinated people.

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Above all, the decision is a signal that one had to look for in top-class sport for a long time. A big point for sport. After all, it is not without reason that the best female athletes live under the suspicion that other rules apply to them, and that they are in a completely different world anyway. 

Much of this criticism is unimaginative and populist. Should they eat golden steaks or have star hairdressers fly in - if you don't know what to do with your money in your early 20s, you don't always appear completely confident in taste. 

But especially during the pandemic, this gap between the worlds of sports stars and their fans can also become a problem.

The Olympic Games took place in Japan, whose population was not only particularly vulnerable because they were very unvaccinated and very old, the Japanese were also completely excluded from the event in their country. 

And only very few are lucky enough to be able to spend their quarantine in the Maldives like Manuel Neuer is currently. Most footfall fans can only admire the islands in the Indian Ocean healthy on photo wallpaper.

 

Professional sport lives from its spectators, from their love or at least affection. But it is crumbling right now. Again and again one can read of this word that makes sports managers shudder: alienation. Falling audience ratings, scorned tickets - quite a few people involved in sports fear that something may have been lost in recent years. A general discomfort that existed before Corona is now becoming concrete.

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But now someone said stop. The unvaccinated Dokovic is certainly a manageable threat to the health of the Australian people. But in this case it is a matter of principle. No extra sausages. 

And a healthy high-performance athlete who suddenly turns the corner with a special permit is an outstretched middle finger for all Australians who, like in Melbourne, had been in lockdown for 262 days.  

Australia's decision has shown that professional sport cannot afford everything. It could bring players and supporters closer together again. So it could be good for the sport overall. 

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Even if Novak Dokovic in his little room in Melbourne is sure to see things differently at the moment - that governments and institutions that have to do with sport act responsibly is in a year when the Olympic Winter Games in China and a soccer World Cup are in Queuing up Qatar, more beneficial than ever.

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