Novak Djokovic: I'm a child of war, I know how it feels to be discriminated against
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 7667
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic says he is a child of war and knows how it feels to be discriminated against and looked differently. On Wednesday, Wimbledon announced Russian and Belarusian players won't be allowed to compete at The All England Club this year.
Djokovic said he absolutely condemns the war but added he cannot support a tournament banning players from competing just because they come from a certain country. Coming out of Serbia, Djokovic faced many challenges but he went out, made a name for himself and became an all-time great.
Djokovic feels Russian players are facing discrimination over something they have no control over. "I don't support that, I grew up with sanctions, I know how it feels when the world sees you differently, because a bad image has been created," Djokovic said.
"I was a victim of that, as were many Serbs. I am a child of war, I know what it is like to lose close people, some still suffer because of all that. I will be against it forever."
Djokovic: I don't see how athletes affect the war
Russian athletes across all sports are facing difficulties and sanctions.
Tennis banned Russia and Belarus from competing in team events but allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete in international events. However, Russian and Belarusian players do not compete under the name or flag of their respective countries.
"Politics exists in sports, you have political structures in the organization. I am talking about higher instances of interfering politics. I stand behind what I said. There is no need to suspend any athlete, not just a tennis player," Djokovic said.
"I don't see how they affect the war. We have a rule in tennis on the prohibition of discrimination, which speaks of the rule of ranking non-nationality. Wimbledon violated that, the ATP spoke out."