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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Novak Djokovic: Newsreaders caught in expletive-laden rant


An expletive-laden conversation between two Australian newsreaders on Novak Djokovic’s visa saga has gone viral, after a video of it was leaked online.

It shows Channel 7 journalists Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern discussing the tennis star candidly as they prepare to read the evening news on Tuesday.

Djokovic is “lying” and “sneaky,” according to Maddern, while Amor claims the athlete has “fallen over his own… lies.”

The “illegal” leak is being investigated by Channel 7.

The high-profile newsreaders in Melbourne were reacting to the news that the Serbian star had been allowed to enter the country to play in the Australian Open next week despite not being vaccinated and admitting to mistakes on his travel forms.

During the conversation, which was not broadcast on television, Maddern says, “Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky [expletive].”

“However you look at it, it’s unfortunate that everyone stuffed up around him,” she adds, presumably referring to Djokovic’s blaming his agent for an unintentional error on his travel declaration form.

Amor is heard saying that the tennis star “fell over his own [expletive] lies,” before adding, “I think he’ll get away with it.”

Channel 7 said in a statement that the recording was illegal because it was a private conversation between two colleagues.

Australians show their support

While many social media users were shocked by the harsh language, many others backed the newsreaders.

“Thank you for saying what we’re all thinking,” one Twitter user said. “Is it too late to nominate Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor for Australians of the Year?” someone else asked.

Colin Vickery, an Australian TV writer, tweeted that he “can’t see this hurting Mike Amor or Rebecca Maddern’s reputations.”

Over the visa controversy, both Djokovic and Australian authorities have faced harsh criticism.

On Monday, a court allowed him to enter the country, despite not being vaccinated. It was a hugely controversial decision, as Australians have had to live under some of the world’s strictest Covid-19 rules, especially in Melbourne, where he is now training for the Grand Slam, which endured 262 days under restrictions last year.

Many people have accused Australia’s state and federal governments of favouring the rich and famous during the pandemic by allowing them to travel freely to and from the country, while ordinary citizens have been banned from even crossing state borders to be with dying loved ones.

With thousands of families separated by the country’s closed borders, it earned the moniker “Fortress Australia.”

Alice Lamberton, 22, lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and her mother lives in Queensland, Australia. They haven’t seen each other in nearly three years because the Australian government won’t let Miss Lamberton fly in.

Despite being fully vaccinated, her travel exemption request was denied eight times because, as an adult, she does not meet the federal government’s definition of “immediate family” and thus cannot visit her mother.

“It’s heartbreaking… he can do whatever he wants because he’s a well-known sportsperson with a lot of money,” she told the BBC.

“It’s just another example of celebrities being allowed to enter Australia while people connected to hardworking citizens are turned away.”

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