"The two are not even close" - Tennis fans criticize political writer James Melville for comparing Muhammad Ali's anti-war stance to Novak Djokovic not getting the vaccine

Tennis fans brutally put down the comparison between the duo
Tennis fans brutally put down the comparison between the duo

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has come under immense scrutiny all year long due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance. The Serb's refusal to get the jab has cost him the chance to play at many tournaments this year.

However, political writer James Melville, thought otherwise as he took to Twitter to praise Djokovic and compare him to the late great Muhammad Ali. Melville believes the hardship that Djokovic is undergoing is similar to what Ali had to survive.

The legendary boxer, widely considered to be the greatest of all time, was forbidden from partaking in the sport due to his anti-war stance and his refusal to be drafted in by the American army.

"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," Melville wrote.

Subsequently, tennis fans have reacted furiously to this comparison between the two sporting legends by Melville. Tennis fans flooded Twitter to make their displeasure known about the statement.

"Muhammad Ali lost years of his prime due to his anti war stance and Djokovic is scared of a needle. Not the same," one fan wrote.

Another fan spoke about how Muhammad Ali missed out on the prime years of his illustrious boxing career in order to stand up for what he believes in.

"Ali also did it when it cost him the most. The world missed out on Ali at his supreme best. We got glimpses of it when he fought Cleveland Williams in a boxing masterclass. So I don’t think it is a good comparison," wrote the fan.

On the flip side, some fans sympathized with the Serb's anti-vaccination stance and applauds him for standing up to what he believes in.


Novak Djokovic set to miss the US Open with current vaccination rules for foreign travelers

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

After capturing his 21st Grand Slam and seventh Wimbledon title, Novak Djokovic faced the harsh reality of not being able to participate at the US Open this year. The US has a vaccination mandate for foreign travelers entering the country, which could likely lead to the former World No. 1 missing the final Major of the year.

Having won the tournament on three occasions - 2011, 2015 and 2018, while he's lost in six finals. Unless the rules for foreign travelers change before the US open begins, Djokovic will likely only be seen at the French Open next year.

His deportation from Australia led to Novak Djokovic receiving a three-year ban from entering the country. While the ban could be overturned by special request to the Australian Goverment, the Serb will be unable to enter the country given the current rules.

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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