Warning: This article deals with the topic of domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.
Important breaking news: One tennis player beat another tennis player in a tennis match. That’s right, during Wimbledon’s grand final of its men’s single tournament, Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios. While Kyrgios smashed the first set, Djokovic came back to win the second, third, and fourth.
However, while this final was a testament to some incredible athletics, it was also a dark reminder of what the power structures at be can get away with. “But how?” You might wonder. Well, then here’s my reasoning for making such a huge claim:
Djokovic Is Wealthy, Dangerous, and Safe
According to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Djokovic has made over $150,000,000 throughout his career. He’s also refused to get vaccinated and has spread anti-vax rhetoric. In a BBC interview, he foolishly defended his bad takes by saying, “Me, as an elite professional athlete, I’ve always carefully reviewed, assessed everything that comes in: From the supplements, food, the water that I drink, or sports drinks. Anything that really comes into my body as a fuel. Based on all the information that I got, I decided not to take the vaccine.”
Moreover, Djokovic was incredibly reckless and irresponsible when he had COVID. In 2022, he was infected with this deadly disease, knew about it, and still attended an interview with the publication L’Equipe. Djokovic never apologised for this terrible move, instead writing on Instagram, “I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Équipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was taken… This was an error of judgment and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”
Djokovic’s career hasn’t been significantly impacted by his dangerous anti-vax words or his life-threatening behaviour. He hasn’t said sorry. He hasn’t really held himself accountable for these actions. Additionally, Djokovic is still being sponsored by the likes of Lacoste. Djokovic is still playing in major, prestigious tournaments. The world at large has moved on from these two controversies. The fact that he was in a Wimbledon finale indicates that if you’re rich and influential enough, you can get away with basically anything.
Kyrgios and His Untouchable Blow-Ups
Yes, Kyrgios can be an incredibly entertaining performer while playing tennis. The way he can get the crowd involved can be captivating. The way he can mess with an opponent can be a tectonic pleasure. However, the fact that Kyrgios joined Djokovic in the Wimbledon final meant that there was more than one problematic person on that court. This is because Kyrgios sometimes engages in behaviour that no man or person should.
Kyrgios has exhibited violent behaviour by breaking property on a lot of different occasions. This year alone, he’s smashed tennis rackets at the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open, and the Halle Open. In the BNP Paribas Open, the racket Kyrgios threw almost struck a minor.
These actions aren’t entertaining, they’re just harmful. Kyrgios’ conduct would be considered not on in basically every other context in our society. This can demonstrated by the fact that Healthdirect Australia has stated that throwing objects can be a form of domestic abuse. If this sort of behaviour is unacceptable in our homes, why would it be alright on the world stage?
Rightfully, Kyrgios has received fines after exhibiting such behaviour. For instance, Reuters reported that the ATP had fined him $25,000 for almost striking that kid at the aforementioned BNP Paribas Open. However, the ATP’s website has also published the fact that Kyrgios has won almost $10,000,000 as a professional tennis player. This man would have to be fined this amount 40 times to lose just a tenth of such wealth. Furthermore, just like Djokovic, he hasn’t changed for the better, he’s still getting sponsored, and he continues to be a beloved tennis player.
It’s also worth noting that Kyrgios is going to court next month for allegedly assaulting one of his ex-girlfriends. This news caused Solace Women’s Aid, a domestic violence charity, to demand that Kyrgios be removed from Wimbledon’s tournament. According to The Guardian, this organisation said, “Wimbledon was comfortable banning players from Russia and Belarus in response to the war in Ukraine, so we see no reason why Wimbledon and the ATP shouldn’t follow the lead of bodies like the US National Football League and ban tennis players facing charges of assault.” The proposition Solace Women’s Aid made wasn’t heeded.
Wimbledon Is Supporting These Guys
So, there you have it. An anti-vaxxed multi-millionaire beat a racket-destroying multi-millionaire in a tennis match. Wimbledon then lauded and promoted these men. It did this while refusing to let any women play in this prestigious competition in any colour other than white. Yup, you can only wear white while you’re playing in Wimbledon. If you were to ignore this dress code because wearing white whilst menstruating can be anxiety-inducing, then Wimbledon just wouldn’t platform you the way it platformed Djokovic or Kyrgios.
This is how the power structures at play currently operate. They enrich the rich. They ignore the needs of the disadvantaged. They want you to be bedazzled by the fame and the glory. They want you to remember Djokovic’s athletics and not peel back what’s happening underneath. Just keep this in mind the next time it’s Wimbledon season.
If you are struggling and needs support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. Both of these services provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also talk to someone from 1800RESPECT via online chat. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.