‘No Athlete Should Be Stopped..’ – 36-Year-Old Andy Murray Comes Down Hard on Naysayers as Novak Djokovic Lands in French Open Controversy Over a Political Message

Published 06/05/2023, 5:24 PM EDT

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In a world where celebrities, megastars, and sports stars are expected to maintain a certain political correctness all the time, it is quite challenging for them, as individuals, to speak their minds. Whenever they express their opinion on any issue, it is bound to create a lot of stir among people all over the world. In the world of tennis, there are hardly any names that are bigger than Novak Djokovic. But, the 22-time Grand Slam champion has never shied away from putting his views forward, be it taking a stand on his vaccination status or sharing a politically inclined message at Roland Garros.

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In the wake of controversies surrounding Djokovic’s political message at the French Open, he has found support in the form of longtime rival Andy Murray. The Briton indirectly defended his on-court rival Novak Djokovic when he spoke about the need to protect the freedom of speech of athletes.

Andy Murray stands by the actions of rival Novak Djokovic

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As reported by Express UK, 3-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray weighed in on his thoughts regarding athletes’ right to express their opinion.

“No athlete should be stopped from freedom of speech, I don’t think that’s fair. You often hear athletes, journalists, and commentators say that sports and politics shouldn’t mix, but they do.. When politics have supposedly influenced decisions that have been harmful to sports persons’ careers they argue sports and politics should not mix. But then they’re more than happy to talk on matters that they agree with”, he said.

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Murray even took a dig at athletes who tend to be ‘hypocritical’. He added that there are many athletes who celebrate their victories with world leaders or get invited to political platforms, but only as long as their political opinions align. Therefore, according to the Brit, athletes shouldn’t be shunned for using their privilege and platform to send political messages.

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Fresh French Open Controversy as Novak Djokovic’s Latest Comment Rubs Off the Wrong People as He Leaves a Politically Inclined Message Post Victory

Djokovic’s French Open actions landed him in hot water

After starting his campaign at Roland Garros with a comfortable opening-round victory, the Serb wrote on the TV camera, “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia! Stop violence.” This message came in the wake of rising ethnic tensions between Albanians and ethnic Serbs in the Balkan region. However, Djokovic received a lot of flak following his controversial statement. The Kosovo Tennis Federation accused the Serb of fueling more tension in the region by ‘provoking’ Kosovo. The sports minister of France also condemned his actions by deeming it inappropriate.

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Do you agree with Andy Murray’s view of the need to protect the right to freedom of speech for athletes? Let us know in the comments.

WATCH THIS STORY: “The Other Two Have More Charisma”- Novak Djokovic Is Not in the League of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Says Former French Open Winner

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Written by:

Prithviraj Roy

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Prithviraj Roy is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. With an academic background in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), he has more than 2 years of experience as a Content Writer. Prithviraj has been a die-hard fan of the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal since his childhood years.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas

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