Djokovic is nicknamed the ‘joker.’ His beliefs in pseudoscience are no joke though as he tests positive
No one can doubt Novak Djokovic’s stunning success in the tennis circuit. Even before this year’s tennis was short-circuited due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Djokovic was the only man to consistently challenge the duopoly of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In doing so, he formed a sort of triumvirate in the world of tennis. But his nickname of ‘joker’ or ‘Djoker’ to be precise — the ‘D’ in his surname and ‘Djoker’ is silent — came not from the Batman villain but from his propensity to be a clown on the court, imitating the mannerisms of other tennis professionals. This did not always endear him to those who were the butt of his jokes but also to tennis fans as he brought a bit of levity to the stern world of professional tennis.
However, Djokovic’s beliefs around some really dubious science is highly questionable. With the news that he has tested positive for the Coronavirus because he hosted a party where precautions were thrown to the wind is not surprising for those who follow his thinking. The Serbian tennis player has consistently maintained his promotion of the dubious anti-vaccine movement even in this day when the world is frantically searching for a vaccine for the Chinese contagion. His beliefs in alternative healing methods are welcome, not because they are correct but because everyone is free to have his/her own beliefs. But as a globally recognised sportsperson, it is important for Djokovic or anyone else in his position, not to promote questionable science. This is highly irresponsible because athletes of his level of fame can impregnate young minds with conspiracy theories and a lack of belief in science. We hope Djokovic, his family and his friends, who caught the virus at the party, recover soon. We also wish that this incident teaches the tennis player that ignoring established science, and there is no doubt that there are valid questions around the virus, is dangerous. As dangerous as believing that an ayurvedic medicine without any clinical testing will be a cure against catching the virus.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)