Howard Stern slaps Novak Djokovic for COVID-19 vaccine stance

Howard Stern slaps Novak Djokovic for COVID-19 vaccine stance

Howard Stern and Novak Djokovic.

Evan Agostini / Invision / AP / Shutterstock; JAMES ROSS / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Not to chop words. Howard Stern had a strong message for the tennis star Novak Djokovic after the drama surrounding his coronavirus vaccination status.

“I call him the Joker,” the 68-year-old DJ said in the episode on Tuesday, January 11, of his SiriusXM radio program. “What a royal hole.”

The Serbian athlete, 34, made headlines last week when he was barred from entering Australia due to the country’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Djokovic claimed he had been given a “medical exemption” to play in the Australian Open without a vaccine, a requirement to enter the country, but he was detained at the airport on January 5 after officials said he ” could not provide adequate evidence “of his exemption.

An Australian judge ruled the Olympic winner could stay in the country on Monday 10 January, but a day later Djokovic admitted he had made a false travel statement when he arrived in Melbourne last week. He claimed he had not traveled for two weeks before arriving in Australia, but photos apparently showed him in both Serbia and Spain shortly before his arrival.

“The first thing I’re heard about this guy is that he does not want to get his vaccine and he’s running around,” Stern said Tuesday in response to the scandal. “They should throw him straight out of tennis.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Djokovic claimed that the error in his travel statement was the result of “human error” and “certainly not deliberate” on his part.

“[The declaration] was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told the immigration authorities on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative error by ticking the wrong box about my previous trip before I came to Australia, “he wrote via Instagram “We live in challenging times in a global pandemic, and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”

It is unclear whether Djokovic’s recent admission will result in his deportation. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, said he was still considering revoking the athlete’s visa. According to the Australian Home Office website, the penalty for submitting a false travel statement has a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

Stern, who previously called people who would not be vaccinated “idiots,” slammed Djokovic for saying his decision to be vaccinated should be personal rather than mandated by the government.

“It’s like saying smoking is a private decision. Well, that’s true,” said the New York native. “But do not smoke in my face, f-knot. What a dummy. Just a big, stupid tennis player.”

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