Two Australian broadcasters are going viral for their expletive-laden conversation about Novak Djokovic, which was caught on camera before the newscast began and leaked on social media.
Channel 7 journalists Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern can be seen discussing Djokovic's ongoing visa issues and the decision to allow him to enter the country to compete in the Australian Open without being vaccinated against COVID-19. Their conversation was not broadcast. (Warning: The video below contains NSWF language)
Maddern called Djokovic "a lying, sneaky a**hole," and Amor followed with "he fell over his own f***ing lies," before saying "I think he's going to get away with it." Amor also blamed immigration officials for "f***ing it up."
In a statement, Channel 7 vowed to look into the leak, saying that the conversation was between two colleagues and was therefore illegal to record.
Djokovic situation rankles Australian public
Djokovic, who traveled to Melbourne to compete in the upcoming Australian Open, is embroiled in a visa mess since he arrived last week. He received a medical exemption from Tennis Australia and local Melbourne authorities to compete at the tournament without being vaccinated, but immigration officials required more proof that he'd recently had COVID-19. They eventually canceled his visa and detained him at an immigration facility.
Due to an error by immigration officials, Djokovic was allowed to enter Australia. But another visa irregularity could still prevent him from staying and competing in the Australian Open. On his application, Djokovic stated that he hadn't traveled in the two weeks leading up to his arrival in Australia. However, he had taken a trip to Spain, which he admitted in an Instagram post Tuesday night.
Djokovic said that his agent had made a mistake when filling out that part of the form, and that he wasn't being intentionally misleading. According to Reuters, providing false or misleading information on an immigration declaration can result in 12 months in jail. Djokovic also admitted that he did an in-person interview and photoshoot with L'Equipe just one day after testing positive in December.
All of this means that Djokovic is not the most popular person in Australia right now, since it appears to some that he's getting special treatment due to his celebrity status. Over 90 percent of Australians are vaccinated against COVID-19, and the country continues to have stringent health and travel restrictions. Melbourne, where the Australian Open is held, was under restriction for 262 days in 2021.
Australians have thrown their support behind Amor and Maddern on social media.
All Aussies give a big 👍 to Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor for showing how news presenters can be just as human as the rest of us!! I will forever watch and support Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor!! Thank you for speaking what we are all thinking about #Djokovid
— Jez Scone (@JeremyCNascone) January 12, 2022
Is it too late to nominate Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor for joint Australians of the Year? #Djokovic
— Tish (@oztish) January 12, 2022
— am I real? (@Anonymous12035) January 12, 2022
— Aron Solomon ⌚️🎾🏈🏀⚖️☕️💻👟 (@aronsolomon) January 12, 2022
Give these two a raise! And whoever filmed it. The most refreshing/hopeful piece of commercial news feed I’ve seen in Australia for years. Dear world, this is what we really think. The rest is usually just Rupert talking. #covid19 #djokovic #NoVaxDjoCovid @channel7 https://t.co/6dCpKuSpKR
— Tempo Rubato (@temporubato_au) January 12, 2022