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Opinions of Friday, 7 January 2022

Columnist: Samuel Godwin Agbeve

Novak Djokovic versus covid vaccine

Renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic has joined people who have refused to  take the vaccine Renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic has joined people who have refused to take the vaccine

Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, has put his foot down and wouldn't be caught getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Clearly, he has made his bed and is having to lie on it.

Will the saying: “What is good for the ‘aardvark’ is good for the ‘kangaroo’ ” work for Novak? Pun intended.

I think the Australian government has done well by sticking to its guns so the laws can be upheld, irrespective of name or fame.

Let’s assume that Novak Djokovic, like all the anti-vaccine activists, is decidedly wary of the dire consequences, real or assumed, of the vaccine, possibly death. Then he "would be forgiven" for being dead set against getting the vaccine. Who wouldn't be, anyway?

Now, my question is: in the event(unlikely?) of all those who have had the vaccine, including his tennis companions, perishing on account of that all-important decision, who would he pit himself against if he wants to continue relishing his favourite sport?

To friends(of mine) who are adamant they will not subject themselves to the vaccine, l say "don’t worry, stay away from the vaccine; when those of us who have had it are ‘gone’, you can enjoy yourselves with what we’ve left behind".

A case of “money does not bring happiness”? Well, let’s counterargue that money can bring happiness; just that it may not necessarily guarantee it.

Djokovic, in actuality, can be said to have money coming out of his ears, having raked in enough to “tide him over” the rest of his life. But only _his_ life? No! I wouldn't be stretching the truth if I said his wealth would take care of two or more of his generations after him. However, as we are human, our nature of insatiability cannot be ruled out.

Novak’s happiness is heavily dependent on the game he loves best: tennis, which, incidentally, is the source of his immense wealth.

One would ask: Why is the Serbian great putting himself out to join his stablemates, as it were, to participate in the Australian Open like other years? Djokovic, as it turns out, is the overwhelming favourite in all his match-ups in this particular tournament, having claimed scalp after much-fancied scalp there.

The entire endeavour on the part of the tennis giant to take part in the competition can’t all be for nought, obviously. Yet one is inclined to believe that recreational motivation weighs more with him than the monetary one, although what can also be at play is his increased personal fame, not forgetting the vested interests of financial institutions and advertising agencies, to mention but those. They are always poised to get in on the act.

Mind you, recreation pitched as the overriding motivation may not solely be geared towards Novak's personal satisfaction, but the pleasure of his numerous fans, and for that matter, tennis lovers the world over, may also be at the heart of his determination to be part of the tournament.

Let's see what the implications of all this could be for the entire world, especially in the domain of sport.