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'We are not preaching' – Novak Djokovic asks critics to respect his choices

  • Novak Djokovic has been at the receiving end of criticism from fans and experts alike in the last few weeks.
  • The Serb addressed his critics indirectly during his latest Instagram session, saying that his intentions are pure.
Rupin Kale
Modified 14 May 2020, 04:52 IST

Novak Djokovic indirectly addressed the severe backlash he has been getting from tennis fans of late
Novak Djokovic indirectly addressed the severe backlash he has been getting from tennis fans of late

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been under a lot of fire from fans and experts recently.

First, the Serb seemingly came out as an anti-vaxxer while discussing a potentially mandatory coronavirus vaccine. He was then accused of having broken lockdown rules as he practised on an outdoor court in Spain.

And the most recent criticism targeted at Novak Djokovic was over an Instagram live he conducted with Chervin Jafarieh, whose bio says he can apply 'the scientific method to create alchemy'.

The conversation with Jafarieh was the most damning of all, as it showed Djokovic talking about how emotions can 'change the molecular structure of water' and turn toxic fluids into healing substances. Naturally, his seemingly unscientific stance was met with scathing ridicule from the tennis community.

But now, Novak Djokovic has decided to respond to his critics.

Novak Djokovic says he has the best intentions

Before going live with Jafarieh once again on 13 May, Djokovic gave out a long and detailed disclaimer explaining his point of view. The Serb stated that the things he and his guest discuss in his 'Self Mastery Project' are all shared with the best intentions.

He also said he is not preaching anything to his viewers, and that he just wants to share with them the practices that have helped him in his career.

"Hopefully, you guys can take something away that will be beneficial for your health," Djokovic said. "I have to say this before we start: I have been saying this every time. This is our perspective. We're sharing, we're taking our time and investing into this."
"[We have been] sharing with you guys about what we've been through, what has positively affected us, what has negatively affected us in our health, nutrition as well as mind, body and soul connection. Obviously, we are not preaching," he added.
"We are not throwing things out there that everyone should follow. Everyone has their right to choose what they want to do, the concepts and the diets they want to follow. I respect that. Hopefully, you'll also respect my decision to do this. I assure you, I do it from the best intentions," Djokovic finished.

In the subsequent discussion, Jafarieh and Novak Djokovic discussed various diet and nutrition topics. They spoke about the acid and alkaline balance in the body, the pros and cons of inflammation, the protein-carb-fat ratio, metabolism, different kinds of diets, supplementation, how climate affects nutrition, as well as sports nutrition.

There were no comments about the molecular structure of water this time, and both Djokovic and Jafarieh stuck to commonly accepted principles of wellness. There seemed to be a conscious decision on the part of the Serb to steer clear of controversy and present a more placid front for the fans.

In his 2013 book
In his 2013 book 'Serve to Win', Novak Djokovic spoke about how diet and lifestyle changes transformed his life on and off the court

While Novak Djokovic and his views might not be congruent with popular beliefs, his latest session stressed on the fact that he just wants to put forward the ideas that have helped him in his personal life. That kind of clear message could well keep his detractors at bay for the moment, as he and the rest of the world try to get through the coronavirus-enforced lock-down with their sanity intact.

Djokovic has had around five guests in the series so far, including former tennis star Maria Sharapova and life coach Jay Shetty.

Side note: Andy Murray popped into the live session during the last few minutes, bringing in his cheeky humour as always. The Brit didn't say anything, but just left a laughing emoji in the Serb's comments' section.

Published 14 May 2020, 04:46 IST
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