“At the end of the day, we all have to be humans and feel for one another.”
Novak Djokovic grew up in war-torn Serbia. Belgrade, to be exact. He understands what it is like to come from a smaller nation, globally speaking, and to be an outsider. He has made a career of it, unexpectedly winning his first Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open before even-more-unexpectedly winning nine more since 2011.
On Tuesday, Djokovic spoke out publicly about the flood of Syrian refugees seeking safe haven, asylum, or whatever it is called in a particular country outside of their homeland. In the midst of his lengthy comments, Djokovic said, “You can’t blame these people.” The UNICEF ambassador also spoke eloquently about the International Constitution of Human Rights, referring to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Djokovic on the refugee crisis: “At the end of the day we all have to be humans and feel for one another” pic.twitter.com/FebNo69Lec
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) November 16, 2015
These people are displaced. They are quite literally sick and tired of violence, and they deserve to be treated as fully human. They are individuals. They are legion. They are a nation. And none other than the far-and-away best player of the year—yea, of the decade—in men’s tennis has voiced his support for them.
Here’s hoping Djokovic’s words don’t go unheeded by international leaders, including so many stateside governors (two dozen, in fact) who are rejecting the notion of any incoming refugees from Syria. Sometimes Djokovic jokes, and other times he is flatly serious. Tennis, you’re lucky to have this man, and at the top.
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