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Sport

Banning Djokovic was pure paranoia

Darrian Traynor/Getty

Kicking Novak Djokovic out to “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe”, as Aussie PM Scott Morrison absurdly put it, was absolute “rot”, says Chris Kenny in The Australian. Djoko’s views on vaccines were well known long before his visa was granted. The emergency ministerial powers used to cancel it (and overrule the federal court’s decision to back his appeal and let him stay) are there for “genuine threats to the nation”. Deporting a bloke for his views on public health is an “outrageously undemocratic and illiberal action”. The fact that Djokovic is healthy, tested negative, and has some natural immunity from having had the virus just “compounds the inanity of what has transpired”.

Australia is one of the world’s most vaccinated nations. The only person put at risk by Djokovic’s failure to get the jab is the tennis ace himself. But he’s a “convenient scapegoat” in a country where politicians and the media have spent two years “whipping up fear and hysteria” to justify ludicrous restrictions in pursuit of an impossible zero Covid strategy. Now, instead of facing up to the consequences of their “paranoia and overbearing responses”, those politicians and journalists are imposing the same illogical and unfair restrictions on Djokovic to appease “antsy and noisy elements of society”. The result? “Australia’s Covid psychosis has been demonstrated, embarrassingly, to the world.”