Novak Djokovic has been the subject of controversy this week ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. Upon his arrival into Melbourne Airport last Wednesday, he was rejected from entering the country and learned that his visa had been cancelled because of his unvaccinated status.
What’s since unfolded has been a tense legal battle between the 20-time Grand Slam winner and the Australian government. Djokovic’s lawyers have argued that the 34-year-old did not need to be vaccinated because had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 16., and was therefore immunized.
However, information later came to light that Djokovic he attended an interview and a photoshoot after being notified about the positive test result. Since then, he’s received widespread backlash over his actions and over his stance on vaccines.
The latest public figure to blast Djokovic for the drama that’s unfolded is radio personality Howard Stern. The 68-year-old ripped the Serbian tennis player for saying in the past that getting vaccinated should be a “personal decision” and not mandated by the government.
“That f–knut … Djokovic. The Joker, I call him The Joker,” Stern said on a recent episode of his show, per FOX. “What a f—ing a–hole.
“The first I’ve heard of this guy is that he doesn’t want to get his vaccine and he’s running around … they should throw him right the f— out of tennis. That’s it, goodbye.”
Stern continued, suggesting that Djokovic should “stay away from other people” if he doesn’t get the vaccine.
“He’s a d—–bag,” Stern continued. “You should be out of tennis. He doesn’t care about anyone else.”
Howard Stern goes off on “f**knut” Novak Djokovic: “Throw him right the f**k out of tennis.” pic.twitter.com/9VbE9Zw0Be
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) January 11, 2022
On Jan. 10, an Australian judge ruled in favor of Djokovic and reinstated the athlete’s visa, allowing him to travel to the site of the Australian Open. The Serbian tennis player also released a statement on Wednesday, attempting to dispute the “misinformation” about his actions following his positive test in December.
However, Djokovic’s status for The Australian Open still remains up in the air with the first round of the tournament set to get underway on Monday, Jan. 17.