Novak Djokovic is reportedly considering suing the Australian Government for millions of big bucks over “ill treatment” when he was in Melbourne. Cool, but where’s that energy for refugees kept for years in the detention accomodation Djokovic spent, like, four nights in?
The OG story comes from British publication The Sun which reported that Djokovic was in talks with his lawyers about suing the government for AUD$6 million (GBP £3.2million) in damages.
According to the publication, insiders have said that the damages would include AUD$4.35 million of prize money from the Australian Open which Novak Djokovic was expected to win. Honestly that’s a level of self-confidence I can only ever aspire to.
A source reportedly close to Djokovic’s agent Edoardo Artladi said that the tennis player wasn’t happy with how he was treated during his stay in a detention hotel.
“It’s well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne,” they said.
“His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner.”
Serbian lawyer Toma Fila told the publication “[Djokovic] was subjected to humiliating treatment”.
“He should sue.”
There are currently 25 refugees and seven asylum seekers (per The Guardian) being held in the Park Hotel, where Novak Djokovic spent his time in detention. Some of them have been in the hotel for over two years and in detention for more than nine. They’ve been speaking out about conditions in Park Hotel for a long time.
According to the ABC, there have been allegations of maggots, mouldy food, lack of hygiene and medical neglect in the Hotel.
One of the detained people, Jamal Mohamed, told the publication that he hoped Djokovic would use his platform to advocate for refugees in the system.
“Now the world can see how we are treated but still the world is silent on our treatment.”
It’s unclear whether Djokovic will use his continued platform — and possible court case — to speak about the treatment of refugees in Australia’s detention system or whether he’ll be focused exclusively on his own experience.
The news comes as the Federal Court revealed their reasons for upholding the government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa.
The three judges (Justice James Allsop, Justice Anthony Besanko and Justice David O’Callaghan) ruled that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to deport Djokovic using his personal powers was lawful.
They said it wasn’t irrational or illogical for Hawke to be concerned about potential protests from pro-Djokovic, anti-vaccine groups. There was also concern about potential anti-vax protests acting as community spreader events.
“Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment,” said the court.
They also rejected Novak Djokovic’s lawyers’ argument that there was no evidence that his presence would “foster anti-vaccination sentiment”.
“It was open to infer that it was perceived by the public that Mr Djokovic was not in favour of vaccinations,” they said.
“It was known or at least perceived by the public that he had chosen not to be vaccinated.”
Djokovic’s now returned to his home country of Serbia and will be automatically barred from entering Australia for three years.