Not everyone was pleased to hear that tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa was reinstated Monday, allowing the 20-time Grand Slam winner to participate in the Australian Open.
Legendary radio host Howard Stern — who has described those who remain unvaccinated as “imbeciles” — called on tennis to throw Djokovic out of the game for his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“That f***nut [Djokovic],” Stern said on his SiriusXM radio show. “What a f****** a**hole.”
“The first I’ve heard of this guy is that he doesn’t want to get his vaccine,” Stern continued. “They should throw him right the f*** out of tennis. That’s it. Goodbye.”
Stern went on to question whether Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.
“He could be lying,” Stern said. “He could be lying. He’s a d*****bag. He’s a f***er.”
Djokovic arrived in Australia on Wednesday in order to participate in the 2022 Australian Open, and after a lengthy standoff with Australian officials, was told that he would not be allowed into the country. Djokovic’s medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine — which was granted by Tennis Australia and the Victorian government on Tuesday — was the reason for the standoff.
The Victorian government is a state-level authority.
“The visa for Novak Djokovic has been cancelled,” Australian Minister for Health Greg Hunt said Wednesday. “Obviously, that follows a review of the exemption which was provided by the Victorian government process. They were looking at the integrity and the evidence behind it.”
“It’s a matter to him whether he wishes to appeal that, but if a visa is canceled, someone will have to leave the country,” Hunt continued.
Djokovic’s lawyers challenged the decision by Australian authorities, and it emerged over the weekend that Djokovic was granted the medical exemption due to recovering from COVID-19 in December 2021.
“Mr. Djokovic had received, on 30 December 2021, a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording that he had been provided with a ‘Medical exemption from COVID vaccination’ on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID,” according to documents published by Australia’s Federal Circuit Court on Saturday.
Djokovic was released from an Australian immigration detention facility on Monday after Australian Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated his visa. Kelly ruled that the federal government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa following his arrival in Australia was “unreasonable.”
Djokovic’s attempt at a tenth Australian Open title is still in doubt, however, after lawyers for the federal government said they may cancel his visa a second time.
“Lawyers for the federal government, however, indicated the fight may not be over, telling the court that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was reserving the right to exercise his personal power to again revoke Djokovic’s visa,” according to Reuters.
If his visa is revoked a second time, Djokovic would be barred from entering the country for a period of three years.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.