A volley of errors from a tennis ace

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 07:37 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

His wife has also tested positive. The top player has apologised but said the tourney was organised with a philanthropic objective.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Tennis ace Novak Djokovic is the talk and roast of the town, with at least him and three other players testing positive for COVID-19 after playing in a tennis exhibition series he organised in Serbia and Croatia.

Djokovic organised the tourney and brought in players from other countries amid a global pandemic.

His wife has also tested positive. The top player has apologised but said the tourney was organised with a philanthropic objective.

It is a grave fault by the legend. As a celebrity and top player, there would have been players who responded to his call for the tournament.

Yet, it was an error, to begin with, organising the tourney and then, inviting players to play.

This very unfortunate occurrence also blows away misconceptions and stereotypes. First, that the virus does not afflict the young. Secondly, that it has weakened or the wave has lessened and we can prioritise playing over precautions.

It also makes the public aware of the fact that the very fit are also susceptible to the virus. While working on fitness and keeping oneself in good health is always a sensible and desirable way to live, even absolute top-of-the-rung fitness, may not be enough to protect one from contracting the virus.

How else do you explain footballers getting the virus, a number of cricketers also contracting it, and now, these top tennis players testing positive?

International sports stars carry a burden because of their fame. They need to be doubly responsible as they are accountable by their actions to so many impressionable fans, all over the world.

This is a wrong call by Djokovic and while his intention was good, this one should set warning bells ringing through the world of sport in general.

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