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'Don't go to jail over Djokovic': Questions remain despite tennis star's legal victory – CBC Sports

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On the latest episode of the CBC Sports video series Bring It In, host Morgan Campbell is joined by panellists Dave Zirin and Meghan McPeak to discuss tennis star Novak Djokovic’s court victory, positive COVID-19 result and the protests in Australia surrounding his case.

While the unvaccinated Djokovic won his court battle to have his visa reinstated and remain in Australia on Monday, it still remains to be seen if he will avoid deportation and compete at the Australian Open — with the government still threatening to cancel his visa.

“All of this is just as unclear as it always was. The only thing that’s clear is Novak Djokovic is not vaccinated and does not want to get vaccinated, and that you still technically aren’t allowed into Australia if you haven’t had a vaccine,” Campbell said.

Zirin compares the Serbian tennis player to the National Football League (NFL)’s Aaron Rodgers, who was fined after misleading people about his vaccination status, and Antonio Brown, who was suspended after supplying the NFL with a fake vaccination card.

“Novak Djokovic is like the unholy hybrid of Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Brown. [He has] all of the obnoxious entitlement of Rodgers, while at the same time he may be playing very fishy with his positive and negative tests and his results like Brown,” Zirin said.

“He has all of the arrogance, all of the sleaziness, all of the entitlement that we’ve seen in the NFL.”

WATCH | Bring It In panel discusses Djokovic court battle, protests:

Reactions to Novak Djokovic winning court battle related to COVID vaccine exemption | Bring It In

8 hours ago

Duration 7:29

The ‘Bring It In’ panel give their takes on the latest news regarding Novak Djokovic’s vaccine exemption that had him detained in Australia as he attempted to enter the country to compete in the Australian Open. 7:29

Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 16, allowing him to acquire a medical exemption, but he was pictured maskless at a public event just a day later. The panel discusses there being a double standard involved because of Djokovic’s status and power, and the resulting backlash and anger from some Australians who feel he is receiving special treatment.

“To what extent is Novak Djokovic benefiting from the fact that he’s Novak Djokovic?” Campbell said.

“They don’t like the fact that you’re rubbing this thing in their faces when Australians have been going through vaccine mandates, mandatory testing, quarantine when they leave the country.”

McPeak builds on the idea that the average person wouldn’t be afforded the same loophole in order get into Australia without proof of vaccination.

“We wouldn’t have gotten into the country [without being vaccinated], we wouldn’t have gotten past border control. It just would’ve been a completely different situation and we would not have gotten out of the immigration detention centre,” McPeak said.

WATCH | Court permits Djokovic to stay in Australia for time being:

Novak Djokovic allowed to stay in Australia for now

5 hours ago

Duration 1:56

A judge has cleared Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic to stay in Australia ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, but the country’s immigration minister could still step in and revoke his visa. 1:56

Djokovic was released from a Melbourne immigration detention centre following the ruling, but the protests in support that led up to it also included many who were sympathetic with the plight of immigrants forced to remain indefinitely in the hotel Djokovic resided in as a result of not meeting the requirements of Australia’s Border Force.

“There’s the Serbian Nationalist one, and then there was the Australian anti-racist campaigners one trying to raise awareness of the plight of migrants through Djokovic,” Zirin said.

The panel also talks about how the protests supporting Djokovic spiralled out of control with the Serbian community in Melbourne who took action.

“What you have outside in Australia are now actually violent battles between Serbian-Australian protestors — people in Australia of Serbian descent — and the police. So this is like the Aaron Rodgers situation on steroids,” Zirin said.

Campbell goes on to add that at the end of the day, Djokovic ultimately only cares about one thing — himself.

“Don’t go to jail over Novak Djokovic, because he would not go to jail for you. Don’t get pepper sprayed over Novak Djokovic; he won’t even take a vaccine for you,” Campbell added.

Despite the ongoing controversy and uncertainty, Djokovic has resumed training with his path cleared to compete for his 21st grand slam title and 10th Australian Open title. He has a chance to break a tie with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles of all time.

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TRAIKOS: The NHL apparently wants McDavid and the Oilers to miss the playoffs – Toronto Sun

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Edmonton’s playoff hopes took a serious hit on Thursday, with the 13th-place team losing 6-0 to Florida. It was the Oilers’ seventh straight loss — and their 13th loss in the past 15 games — and it put them six points back of San Jose for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

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The team needs Evander Kane more than ever, as well as an upgrade in net and possibly a new voice behind the bench.

Based on what lies ahead, it could also use a ventilator.

On Wednesday, the league released its revised schedule for all the games that had been postponed due to COVID-19. Mostly, the NHL’s schedule makers just crammed a bunch of games (95 in total) during the three-week window that was originally blocked off for the Olympic break.

Now, there is no break. And for the Oilers, who play their final 46 games over 98 days — roughly a game every other day for the next three months — there’s little chance to take even the slightest of breaths.

Seriously, what did Connor McDavid ever do to Gary Bettman to get him so angry? Edmonton’s path to the post-season is not just an uphill climb — it’s now also littered with potholes, as well as several back-to-backs and a couple of insane stretches where they will play three games in four nights.

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Even if they manage to survive this gauntlet and sneak into the playoffs, what’s the point if they won’t have anything left in the tank?

Of course, it’s not just Edmonton that will be challenged in the weeks ahead.

Every team got a bunch of games dumped on their lap next month. Winnipeg now has 10 games in 17 days, while Montreal will play eight games in 15 days.

All it means is that February, which typically represented the dog days of the calendar might now be the most pivotal month on the schedule.

Depth is going to be tested like never before. You better have a backup goalie, because you’re going to need him. And you better have a fourth line that plays more than six minutes a night.

For Edmonton, this could be just a little problematic.

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The Oilers don’t have a backup goalie. These days, they don’t even have a No. 1 that they trust. As for spreading the minutes around, Oilers’ defenceman Darnell Nurse is averaging the second-most ice time of any player in the NHL, while Leon Draisaitl and McDavid are logging more minutes than any other forward.

With the team chasing the pack — and playing from behind in most games — there’s little chance that their ice time will be decreased. If anything, it’s probably going to be going up, especially if Dave Tippett is still coaching.

After all, the Oilers can’t afford to have another losing month. They can barely afford to have another losing week.

With so many games scheduled in so few days, the playoff picture is coming into focus faster than ever. By the end of the month, we should have a clear indication of where teams stand heading into the March 21 trade deadline.

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That is, if any teams are left standing by then.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

*****

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Record: 24-10-3, 51 points (3rd in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: From Jan. 31 to Feb. 27, Toronto plays 12 games in 29 days. But that is still less than the 14 games they played in the month of November.

What it means: The Leafs got off real easy. They now have two back-to-backs scheduled, but one is a home-and-home against Devils — meaning both teams will be at a disadvantage — and the other features the 10th-place Blue Jackets and the last-place Canadiens If anything, this could be Toronto’s chance to put points in the bank.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Record: 11-20-2, 24 points (9th in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 15

The result: The Senators’ schedule looks completely different. They now have 10 new games in February — including two that were originally scheduled for April and got moved up. Too bad fans won’t be allowed in the building for most of those games.

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What it means: Though Ottawa is probably not going to make the playoffs, there had been talk that the Senators would be playing games in May. That didn’t happen. But there are 16 games in April, at a time when the 31st overall team could be playing meaningless hockey.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Record: 8-25-6, 22 points (10th in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 12

The result: During a three-week span in February, Montreal will play eight games in 15 days. All but one of those games is at home, which might not be a good thing based on how the team has been playing.

What it means: Not a whole lot. It’s a pity the NHL even bothered to reschedule Montreal’s games. All it does is delay the inevitable.

CALGARY FLAMES

Record: 18-11-6, 42 points (5th in Pacific)

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Games rescheduled: 10

The result: The revised schedule includes three back-to-backs in February and increases the number of games they’ll play in the month from four to 11. But Calgary also gets seven straight games at home.

What it means: Compared to the teams they’re jockeying with for playoff positions, the Flames got off relatively easy. Their toughest stretch is a back-to-back against Vegas and Toronto. But they are book-ended with games against Arizona and the New York Islanders, which should allow Calgary to breathe while others might be running out of breath.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Record: 18-18-3, 39 points (6th in Pacific)

Games rescheduled: 7

The result: Vancouver will play six of the seven rescheduled games during what was supposed to be the Olympic break (Feb. 7 to 22). All but one of those games are at home. Consider it payback for what the league put the Canucks through a year ago.

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What it means: If you were hoping the Canucks had a shot at grabbing a wild card spot, you’re probably feeling optimistic right now. Sure, they still have to win those games. But considering that the team is 10-3-1 since Bruce Boudreau stepped behind the bench, would it surprise anyone if Vancouver ends up with the most points out of the Canadian teams out West?

EDMONTON OILERS

Record: 18-16-2, 38 points (7th in Pacific)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: Someone in the league office does not appear to be an Oilers fan. How else do you explain that Edmonton now comes out of the All-Star Game (in which Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are both attending) and immediately plays eight games in 13 days? Or that the team twice plays three games in four nights?

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What it means: Kiss those playoffs goodbye! Seriously, this schedule is going to reveal what the Oilers are made of. This has already been a difficult season for McDavid and Draisaitl, who are feeling the pressure like never before. Now, they have to chase a playoff spot while running on fumes, with the team staring down a five-game road swing at the end of February against Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, Philadelphia and Chicago.

WINNIPEG JETS

Record: 17-13-6, 40 points (5th in Central)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: From Feb. 11 to Feb. 21, Winnipeg plays seven games in 11 days.

What it means: After playing six times in the past four weeks, the Jets are going to be busy in February. There are now 12 games scheduled, with 11 of them coming in the final three weeks of the month. The team will pretty much be playing every other night — or every night, considering there are three back-to-backs also scheduled. And because six of those games are against divisional rivals, this should be a make-or-break month for Winnipeg.

mtraikos@postmedia.com

twitter.com/Michael_Trakos

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Bombers sign All-Star OT Bryant – TSN

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The two-time defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-signed another cornerstone player on Friday, inking All-Star offensive tackle Stanley Bryant to a one-year contract. 

The 35-year-old was selected as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for a third time in his career this season in addition to being named to his sixth All-Star team.

The Bombers also signed All-Star linebacker Adam Bighill as well as starting quarterback and Most Outstanding Player Zach Collaros to extensions this week. 

Bryant had played in 103 consecutive games for the Bombers since arriving in Winnipeg in 2015 before that streak came to an end in November. 

The East Carolina product also won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2014. 

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Soccer-Brazil to stop unvaccinated footballers playing in top leagues

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The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Friday players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to take part in this year’s league championship,

The CBF said it was in constant contact with health bodies and had sent an updated list of requirements to member clubs.

“One of these is the obligation to present a full vaccination certificate against COVID-19 to the CBF’s Medical Commission,” it said in a statement.

The top four national divisions kick off in the second week of April.

Brazil coach Tite has said he was not selecting Atletico Madrid defender Renan Lodi for his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers because he was not fully vaccinated.

The issue of athletes’ stance on vaccines has dominated sports headlines recently after tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, was deported ahead of the Australian Open.

 

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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