Pom in Oz: Preferential treatment debate over Novak Djokovic saga goes both ways

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Australian Open: Authorities cancel Novak Djokovic's visa due to lack of evidence of medical exemption. The world number one, whose vaccination status is unknown, spent the night at Melbourne airport and has been asked to leave the country - FILE - Novak Djokovic (SRB) plays his quarter final round match at the 2018 US Open at Billie Jean National Tennis Center in New York City, NY, USA on September 5, 2018. Djokovic defeated Australia’s John Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM.
Camera IconAustralian Open: Authorities cancel Novak Djokovic's visa due to lack of evidence of medical exemption. The world number one, whose vaccination status is unknown, spent the night at Melbourne airport and has been asked to leave the country - FILE - Novak Djokovic (SRB) plays his quarter final round match at the 2018 US Open at Billie Jean National Tennis Center in New York City, NY, USA on September 5, 2018. Djokovic defeated Australia’s John Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM. Credit: Dubreuil Corinne/ABACA/PA

Should millionaires or billionaires be treated any differently than us? Should “they” and ‘”we” be in the same boat?

I am not naïve enough to think that the elite in our society don’t get preferential treatment. Money buys a lot — possessions, favours and, sadly, people.

So no, a millionaire tennis champ should not be given any special treatment, he should abide by the same rules as the rest of us and certainly shouldn’t put others at risk due to his wealth.

But neither should he be subjected to any prejudice or harassment due to his larger bank account. Surely we can’t have one and not the other?

By all accounts, Novak Djokovic did the right thing, or at least his lawyers certainly did. All exemptions were in place — we might not agree with them but the boxes seem to be all ticked.

If news reports and witness accounts are to be believed, his treatment afterwards was nothing short of atrocious. I wonder if his treatment was different than the norm? Or whether it simply highlights the flaws in our immigration system?

Then we turn to social media — the backlash to the events surrounding his entry and denial is shocking.

I simply don’t believe the reaction would be the same if it was just an ordinary Joe trying to get into the country. People’s reactions seem to be centred around his “special rights” or lack thereof.

No he shouldn’t get special privileges, but he also doesn’t deserve to have racist comments thrown at him and derogatory comments made about his wealth and how he chooses to spend it.

So, when you decide you simply have to leave a comment ask yourself this. Who are you angry at? The tennis champ? The government? Or are you perhaps mad at your own situation?

END NOTE: Derek Goforth is a teacher at Geraldton Christian College

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