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"Bulls**t"- Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson shuts down comparisons between Novak Djokovic and Muhammad Ali

Michael Johnson shuts down comparisons between Novak Djokovic and Muhammad Ali
Michael Johnson shuts down comparisons between Novak Djokovic and Muhammad Ali
Pritha Ghosh

Olympic sprinting legend Michael Johnson has criticized political writer James Melville for associating Novak Djokovic with boxer Muhammad Ali.

Due to Djokovic's stance on vaccination, Melville, who has criticized vaccine passports and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, made the parallel and claimed that both men stood their ground and upheld their strongly-held beliefs.

Due to his lack of vaccination, Djokovic has missed out on many tournament opportunities this year and will also miss the US Open due to the country's vaccination rules. However, Muhammad Ali was prohibited from participating in the sport because he opposed the Vietnam war and refused to enlist in the American army.

In light of this, James Melvile expressed his thoughts on the situation on Twitter and compared the 21-times Grand Slam winner to the late great Ali.

"Two sporting icons. Two different eras. But there is one huge similarity between Muhammad Ali and Novak Djokovic. They stuck to their principles even when the world was trying to shut them down. They have both transcended sport with their bravery when under fire," Melvile wrote.
Two sporting icons. Two different eras. But there is one huge similarity between Muhammad Ali and Novak Djokovic. They stuck to their principles even when the world was trying to shut them down. They have both transcended sport with their bravery when under fire. https://t.co/qHYZOLCzNL

The writer's contentious tweet drew widespread criticism, and Michael Johnson was one of the people to strongly condemn him. Johnson, one of the best sprinters in the history of track and field, quoted Melville on Twitter and used the single word "BULLS**T" as his caption.

BULLSHIT! twitter.com/jamesmelville/…

Novak Djokovic might be able to play at the Australian Open next year

Day Fourteen: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022
Day Fourteen: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022

Novak Djokovic arrived in Australia earlier this year to defend his title, and Tennis Australia granted him an exemption despite the Serb being unvaccinated. However, the Australian government forbade him from entering the country and detained him. Djokovic was subsequently deported and issued a ban that prevented him from entering Australia for the next three years.

However, the Australian government recently dropped the restriction that had prevented unvaccinated foreigners from entering the nation. As a result, Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, is optimistic that Djokovic's ban may soon be overturned.

“All COVID border restrictions to be lifted” in Australia, says home affairs minister Clare O’Neil - with vaccine requirements to lift from Wednesday, as per statement from health minister Mark Butler https://t.co/qu2UgKwJuz

According to Tiley, who recently spoke with SportKlub, Novak Djokovic is always welcome to play in Australia and many people there enjoy watching him swing his racket.

"I think we are doing our best," Tiley said. "Clearly, it's not my decision whether he will be able to play at the Australian Open, but Novak is always welcome, he knows that many people in Australia like to watch him play."

Edited by Keshav Gopalan

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