The Sport Effect

MIKE DICKSON: Novak Djokovic’s weasel words cut no ice with his situation damaging his reputation

The paws of crisis management PR professionals have been all around the statement introduced by Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.

As the environment No 1 awaited his destiny at the hands of Australia’s immigration minister, he provided his very first stab at answering a couple of the lots of questions surrounding his perform.

Whilst Djokovic’s lawyers submitted private proof to the authorities to clarify his erroneous vacation declaration, the player publicly pleaded his circumstance in a meticulously curated statement.

The paws of crisis management had been all over the statement released by Novak Djokovic

The paws of crisis management had been all around the statement introduced by Novak Djokovic

The weasely expression ‘error of judgment’ was employed, by whoever wrote it, and a few occasions there was reference to correcting ‘misinformation’, even though minor was provided to contradict what has presently been documented about Djokovic’s movements.

Whatever the outcome of the delayed determination on regardless of whether the 34-calendar year-old can keep on to defend his Australian Open title, count on a great deal of track record management from him likely ahead. He has significantly rebuilding to do, mainly because so significantly of what we have read has stretched reliability earlier mentioned and over and above its limits.

On Wednesday, for example, we have been requested to believe Djokovic’s edition of what happened close to the constructive PCR take a look at that he previously reported was taken on December 16, with the end result registered at 8pm that evening.

The term 'error of judgment' was used and three times there was reference to 'misinformation'

The expression ‘error of judgment’ was used and a few occasions there was reference to ‘misinformation’

He maintains that he did not come across out he had caught Covid until soon after fulfilling a children’s charity dedication the subsequent day.

Aside from issues about those he would be mixing with, it would seem distinctly odd that anyone so obsessive about their wellbeing would use such a calm frame of mind about the end result. 

Particularly as Djokovic had been at a basketball match two days earlier at which other individuals had tested constructive. Shocking, also, that anyone of his significance was not notified sooner.

Then came the ‘error of judgment’ on December eighteen, when Djokovic attended a photoshoot and interview with going to associates of the L’Equipe athletics publication which had supplied him an award.

Djokovic's family held a press conference in Belgrade when he was held in a detention centre

Djokovic’s spouse and children held a press convention in Belgrade when he was held in a detention centre

The tennis star is seen mingling just one day after he allegedly received a positive Covid test

The tennis star is seen mingling just 1 day soon after he allegedly gained a constructive Covid take a look at

The journalist concerned, Franck Ramella, reported he had no plan about the constructive take a look at until this thirty day period. He extra that Djokovic had carried out the shots without the need of a mask, but refused to consider it off for more shots during the interview.

Djokovic discussed that he had, wrongly in hindsight, long gone along being aware of his prognosis mainly because he did not want to permit the reporter down. 

But this lower minor ice with the Global Tennis Writers Association (ITWA), who issued an unusual statement of their possess condemning his behaviour. Djokovic’s failure to expose his constructive standing was described as ‘deeply concerning’.

ITWA, whose users are accountable for chronicling Djokovic’s career, went on: ‘As journalists we consider excellent care to adhere to all Covid rules in location and would count on all players to do the very same. In addition it need to be pointed out that journalists have to be completely vaccinated for this year’s Australian Open.’

The same day as the test, Djokovic is pictured attending a ceremony in his honour in Belgrade

 The very same day as the take a look at, Djokovic is pictured attending a ceremony in his honour in Belgrade

Djokovic was found to have falsified answers on his immigration form to try to beat measures

 Djokovic was uncovered to have falsified responses on his immigration kind to check out to conquer actions

Djokovic might be a lot more concerned about how this episode has impacted his standing in an additional tennis organisation, the Skilled Tennis Gamers Association.

This is the player union that the Serb has helped produce and devoted lots of of his spare several hours to. Yet his management credentials have been badly weakened listed here.

Just one reason is that lots of players have been hostile or indifferent to the plan of obtaining vaccinated, but still long gone along with it to aid maintain the tours likely and comply with rules. As a couple have alluded to – and a lot more have reported privately – they do not enjoy the plan of Djokovic failing to go along with every person else.

These are a couple of examples which clarify how this is only the commencing for Djokovic, not the conclusion, even if he have been granted the right to compete at Melbourne Park subsequent week.

His treatment led to protests and some supporters waiting outside the Park Hotel in Melbourne

His procedure led to protests and some supporters ready outside the house the Park Lodge in Melbourne

Except he gets vaccinated, these rigmaroles with all their accompanying controversies can be predicted to proceed from match to match.

Wimbledon’s organisers, for example, are maintaining a shut eye and reserving their place with the match still 5 months absent. Their formal place is to go along with authorities advice at the time — probably the environment will have transformed by then.

For now the Australian Open and Djokovic have carried out all they can to be certain his presence there, but even if it is profitable there has presently been a price tag to spend.