Following a hair-raising win at his home/own event in Belgrade yesterday, Novak Djokovic gave his thoughts on the breaking news on the day — Wimbledon’s ban on players from Russia and Belarus.
“I will always be the first one to condemn the war,” the PTPA leader said. “As a child of war, I know what kind of emotional trauma a war leaves. Us in Serbia, we know what was happening here in 1999, ordinary people always suffer. We’ve had a lot of wars in the Balkans.
“That said, I cannot support the Wimbledon decision. It’s not the athletes’ fault. When politics interfere with sport it usually doesn’t turn out well.”
#Djokovic does not support the #Wimbledon decision. Full answer 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/WP7MsUBwv4
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) April 20, 2022
John Millman also is not on board, posting on twitter: “When I qualified at Wimbledon for the 1st time I asked for two extra ground passes so family could watch – I was told to line up in the queue. Money means everything there, if you’re going to ban athletes then also give all your profits in aid. Then we’d know you’re serious.”
Tennis great Martina Navratilova weighed in on British radio: “Exclusion like this, through no fault of these players, is not the way to go,” she said. “I think it’s the wrong decision. Tennis is such a democratic sport. It is difficult when you see politics destroy it…
“[Players] are on the wrong side of politics… Hopefully this is only a one-off and won’t escalate any further. This decision was made in a vacuum by the All England Club… I don’t think they are seeing the big picture in a more global way.”
Players from the Ukraine saw it a different way. They saw the announcement as a starting place.
“We demand to exclude and ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any international event, as Wimbledon has already done,” Elina Svitolina, Marta Kostyuk and Sergiy Stakhovsky all said in a joint statement.
The time is now 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/BTAOckO0dR
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) April 20, 2022
The British public may thing otherwise, but so far just one day into the ban, the players outside of the Ukraine are largely against Wimbledon’s position.
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Agree, drop the ban. Also drop the stupid refusal to show the Russian flag next to the player’s name.
April 21st, 2022 at 9:29 am