Djokovic DQ displays US Open’s disgraceful double standards as angry SJW ‘wokeness’ is celebrated but aggression admonished
Novak Djokovic is probably used to his forehand being the talk of the sports world. Such is his supreme skill, that goes doubly so when it’s responsible for costing the men’s world number one his place at a Grand Slam. But Djokovic has never before faced a furore like the current media brouhaha that followed his default from the US Open for accidentally striking a line judge with a ball.
HOLY CRAP. Djokovic defaulted after he inadvertently hits a ball and strikes a line judge in the neck. She had to leave. pic.twitter.com/BECdydrKFw— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) September 6, 2020
Trailing Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta 5-6 in their round of 16 match at the Arthur Ashe stadium in Flushing Meadows on Sunday, Djokovic, dissatisfied at his sub-par performance, gently launched a ball backwards, only for it to strike a line judge on the throat.
At first, it was difficult to tell who was more horrified: Djokovic, whose face was a contorted caricature of terror behind an outstretched arm trying in vain to claw the ball back on its trajectory; or the eventual target, whose dramatic, comical fall looked more suited to the Oscars than the US Open. The official was left in a heap, and a perfect 26-match record to start the season was left in tatters, but Djokovic was unreservedly apologetic after the event.
“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that, thank God, she is feeling OK. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress,” the 33-year-old wrote on Instagram.
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This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry. Cela ova situacija me čini zaista tužnim i praznim. Proverio sam kako se oseća linijski sudija, i prema informacijama koje sam dobio, oseća se dobro, hvala Bogu. Njeno ime ne mogu da otkrijem zbog očuvanja njene privatnosti. Jako mi je žao što sam joj naneo takav stres. Nije bilo namerno. Bilo je pogrešno. Želim da ovo neprijatno iskustvo, diskvalifikaciju sa turnira, pretvorim u važnu životnu lekciju, kako bih nastavio da rastem i razvijam se kao čovek, ali i teniser. Izvinjavam se organizatorima US Opena. Veoma sam zahvalan svom timu i porodici što mi pružaju snažnu podršku, kao i mojim navijačima jer su uvek uz mene. Hvala vam i žao mi je. Bio je ovo težak dan za sve.
“So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.
“I apologize to the US Open tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.”
Although the line judge’s fall drew Djokovic over in an attempt to heal the wounds of the dying swan, the damage had been done, and the Serb was unceremoniously slung out for ‘aggressive behaviour’, being left to face a cascade of moral posturing in the media over a display of the most basic of human emotions.
But hang on, isn’t this a complete moral u-turn? Maybe if Djokovic had screamed that the line judge was a ‘liar’, a ‘thief’ and a ‘sexist’, he might have been hailed as a brave hero in the fight against social injustice.
After all, that’s what happened at the 2018 US Open final, when Serena Williams unleashed a steady stream of vitriol at umpire Carlos Ramos, accusing him of unfair treatment that discriminated against women for having the gall to do his job and handing her a game penalty after repeated code violations, which she inexplicably deemed sexist.
Instead of being defaulted, her gushing bile was greeted as the shrill, shrieking voice of reason speaking for women’s rights so much so that US Open chairperson Katrina Adams described her as a “role model” in the post-match presentation, without any regard paid to Naomi Osaka, the woman weeping behind a Serena grinning while lapping up each plaudit.
Williams wasn’t disqualified, but fined $17,000 – a mere 0.92 percent of her $1,850,000 finalist prize money, which she was not forced to forfeit, unlike Djokovic, who was forced to give up his $250,000. Neither did she utter a word of remorse to Ramos, instead only apologizing to Osaka.
Williams’ anger and aggression was accepted as a brave and strong stand for equality, setting a clear precedent that outright and indiscriminate hostility toward officials could be excused under US Open auspices, as long as it can be rationalized by tenuously linking it to the latest, largely imagined social injustice.
Djokovic, unfortunately, had no dog in the fight for social justice and, instead, tennis taught its prodigal son a hefty lesson. The crosshairs may have long been narrowing on the 17-time Grand Slam champion for his insistence on going ahead with the Adria Tour exhibition in response to the ATP Tour shutdown due to fears over Covid-19.
One could be forgiven for thinking the disproportionate punishment meted out to Djokovic was, in fact, a retroactive punishment for the biggest star in tennis’s defiance of stringent scaremongering, and reassure the woke brigade that aggression is a luxury only afforded to the sport’s woke warriors.
Maybe if Djokovic had withdrawn from the tournament altogether in a political protest not linked to tennis, and then arbitrarily reinstated himself at the expense of a fellow player’s progression, the tournament would have pandered to his progressiveness and suspended all matches in solidarity, as was the case when Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Western & Southern Open over the shooting of Jacob Blake, only to insert herself back into the proceedings after all play had been postponed.Also on rt.com 'Collectively taking a stance': US tennis event suspends play after Osaka pulls out citing 'continued genocide of black people'
It also poses the question as to whether Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, the other members of the men’s game’s top three triumvirate that skipped the tournament over Covid concerns, would have been slapped with the same sternness and been sent packing like Djokovic if they had been persuaded to play, or whether their virtue-signaling value would have come into play and got them off the hook.
The 2020 US Open has already suffered heavy credibility losses by persevering without current holders Nadal and Bianca Andreescu present, as well as a diluted pool of talent taking part, and to sacrifice its only true global star for the sake of scoring a few politically correct points isn’t great for its general appeal.
Tennis’s moral compass is consistently askew when on the subject of social justice, and the insistence on peddling out platitudes to align itself with whichever point of view is deemed the most progressive is tedious and tiresome. If US tennis is to admonish aggression altogether, it can’t celebrate anger when justified by ‘injustice’, thereby revealing itself to harbour deep and divisive double standards.
So, the next time Djokovic decides to let his anger bubble over, he might first think of aligning himself with whichever woke war will excuse his 'unintentional' emotions as ‘progressive’ rather than ‘aggressive’.