Novak Djokovic's Dad Compared Him To Jesus & The Star Is Still Stuck At An Australia Hotel

His dad said he's being "crucified" over his vaccine status.

Senior Global Editor
Novak Djokovic's Dad Compared Him To Jesus & The Star Is Still Stuck At An Australia Hotel

What do Jesus Christ and top tennis player/vaccine skeptic Novak Djokovic have in common?

They’ve both been absolutely crucified, according to the Serbian athlete’s dad.

Srdjan Djokovic has accused Australia of launching a “political witch hunt” against his son, who was denied entry into the country amid concerns about his vaccination status on Tuesday.

The younger Djokovic is currently hanging out at a detention hotel in Melbourne, but his dad straight up compared his son to Jesus hanging from a cross at a recent press conference.

"They nailed Jesus to the cross and did all sorts to him," the elder Djokovic said, according to one translation. "In the same way they are also trying to crucify Novak."

Srdjan also described his son as Spartacus, a gladiator “of the new world which won’t tolerate injustice, colonialism and hypocrisy.”

The Australian government was accused of hypocrisy earlier this week, after Djokovic was given a special exemption to play in the Australian Open without providing proof that he’d been vaccinated.

Tennis Australia said it conducted a "rigorous review process" before giving Djokovic the exemption, although it hasn't revealed the details of that review, the Associated Press reports. The state government of Victoria also gave Djokovic the OK.

Djokovic boasted about the exemption on Twitter before boarding a plane to Australia, but when he arrived he didn't provide enough evidence to support the waiver, border officials said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison later confirmed that Djokovic's visa for the Australian Open had been cancelled and that he'd been moved to a detention hotel.

"Rules are rules," he tweeted. "No one is above these rules."

Djokovic hasn't said whether he's vaccinated, but he's been publicly skeptical about vaccines in the past.

Djokovic spoke out for the first time about his situation on Friday in an Instagram story from his quarantine hotel.

"Thank you people around the world for your continuous support," he wrote in his Instagram story. "I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated."

Serbian politicians, citizens and some fans and a few tennis players have taken his side in the fight, while others have been critical of him.

"If he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem," tennis star Rafael Nadal told reporters. "He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.

Djokovic's case will be decided in an Australian courtroom on Monday, although a government official said he's free to leave the country whenever he wishes. He risks being deported if he loses the case.

The Australian Open starts on January 17.

Josh Elliott
Senior Global Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on celebrity interviews and is based in Toronto, Ontario.