Front Burner

No-vax Djokovic vs. Australian immigration

How Novak Djokovic unleashed a political headache for the Australian government and a fierce debate about whether the unvaccinated player should be allowed to stay and compete.
Djokovic reacts to the crowd during his victory over Berrettini. (Elsa/Getty Images)

On Monday, world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic won a legal battle to stay in Australia and defend his title at the Australian Open — for now. The unvaccinated player's visa was revoked when he arrived at the border despite a vaccine exemption granted by Tennis Australia. 

His visa was ultimately reinstated but Australia's immigration minister reserves the power to overturn that decision, revoke his visa and kick him out. If deported, Djokovic could be banned from Australia for up to three years. 

Djokovic's personal stance as "anti-vaccine" isn't winning him any friends in a country hit hard by the pandemic, with strict vaccine protocols and seemingly endless COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Today on Front Burner, we're talking to Canberra-based journalist Kishor Napier-Raman on how the tennis star's decision to stay unvaccinated has turned into a massive political headache for the Australian government and has triggered a fierce debate about whether he should be allowed to stay.

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