Things Get Awkward Between John McEnroe And Chris Fowler Over Novak Djokovic’s Vaccine Status

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Novak Djokovic took his 10th Australian Open title and during his celebration, things got a bit uncomfortable in the broadcast booth between John McEnroe and Chris Fowler.

Just one year earlier, Djokovic had been deported from Australia after opting not to get a COVID vaccine.

That was just one moment of adversity the Serbian star faced in 2022. Former tennis star and current broadcaster John McEnroe was bringing those moments up after Djokovic’s win, only for Fowler to come flying in with a conversational yield sign.

The moment could make for an uncomfortable van ride back to whatever Melbourne hotel those fellas are staying in.

“He got defaulted in the Open when he hit the linesperson by mistake, he gets deported out of Australia, doesn’t get any points at Wimbledon, can’t play the Open…” McEnroe said.

That’s when consummate broadcaster Chris Fowler steamrolled the moment McEnroe was trying to build.

“The product of his choices, to be fair,” Fowler chimed in. “He made choices that led to that; some of those things.”

McEnroe responded that Djokovic should’ve been allowed to play last year in Australia and at the U.S. Open.

Y’know, the way most people whose minds haven’t been eaten away by COVID fears and obsession see it.

Fowler — it appears — is not one of those people.

“Okay, well that’s a debate. He did make choices that led to that,” Fowler said. “But that’s forgotten for the moment.”

Fowler Made It Weird When He Could’ve Just Been Quiet

Novak Djokovic celebrates with his team, meanwhile, up in the broadcast booth John McEnroe and Chris Fowler had an awkward moment. (Photo by Will Murray/Getty Images)

Yes, Djokovic did make a choice. However, even after mountains of evidence have emerged supporting the idea that Djokovic should’ve been allowed to play — especially since every vaccinated player in attendance was just as at risk as an unvaccinated player would’ve been — isn’t unreasonable.

He made a choice, but others made a choice that has since been proved demonstrably wrong, to not allow him to compete.

As it stands, Djokovic is expected to miss two more tournaments — Indian Wells and the Miami Open — thanks to the federal government’s ban on unvaccinated non-nationals.

Hey, at least Indian Wells isn’t too far from the southern border. You don’t need to be vaccinated to enter the country that way. Djokovic has some options.

Fowler may not have wanted to rock the boat at that moment, but he could have also said nothing. For whatever, reason, he felt the need to “correct” McEnroe. Although, all he did was “correct” the broadcast like Jack Torrance tried to “correct” his family.

Nope. Instead, he piped up, made things very uncomfortable, and tried to hush McEnroe and his correct point that Djokovic’s win came after a year’s worth of being villainized by the media.

It’s clear that Djokovic was far from the villain, and the real villains in that scenario are running low on excuses.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.


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  1. ESPN, so woke it was stuck with an event they didn’t promote or wish had happened at all, let alone on its air. They hoped by it being in the middle of the night in US time zones that it wouldn’t gain any traction. Go Johnny Mac for speaking the truth.

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