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Wednesday 5 January 2022

Sporting hypocrisy: One rule for the rich and famous

The Australian Open tennis championship has always had a healthy relationship with hypocrisy.

Younger folk may be surprised that this dates all the way back to the days when the tournament was played on grass at Kooyong.

In those days, young ladies in mini skirts would visit the press tent to hand out free samples of the main sponsor's product: cigarettes.

Yes, a tournament promoting healthy activity had Marlboro cigarettes as its major sponsor! And was actively encouraging people to smoke.

More recently they have defied public anger to hold matches in a stadium named after one of Australia's leading bigots.

And, as Malcolm Knox pointed out in The Age: seven tournament sponsors are alcohol sellers: Canadian Club, Treasury Wine Estates, Peroni, Piper-Heidsieck, Grainshaker vodka and Pure Blonde cider.

And now, in a deliberate slap to the face of Australians who have been deprived of family reunions, the right to attend funerals and had lockdowns repeatedly imposed on them, the Australian Open has decided that while Australians should be triple vaxxed mask wearers, different rules apply if you are rich and famous.

And if your attendance will add to box office (ie: money). Don't forget that point.

This comment on my Tweet feed just about summed up the reaction: "Novak rewarded for being a pompous irresponsible anti vaxer …a huge slap to all those Victorians who have endured so much during lockdowns and have still double vaccinated'.

The nitty gritty.

Novak Djokovic, aka the Serbian sook, has refused to make his vaccination status public but in April 2020 the 34-year-old said he was opposed to mandatory jabs.

Now he has been granted an exemption to enter Australia without being vaccinated as he seeks his 10th title at the least of the grand slams.

So if you want to fly in from overseas to watch the tournament you will need to jump through hoops.

If you are the world No.1, then there will be a "medical exception" made for you.

Remember Djokovic organised a Covid super spreader event just 12 months ago.

All forgotten. Because: money.


  1. Hi Winsor - Good post - I agree with most of what you say, but lets agree to disagree re the Margaret Court issue.

  2. Djokovic has never been the most popular of players, and it will be interesting to see what reception he receives from the vaccinated Melbourne spectators.