For one thing, Djokovic -- if not a "science denier" per se -- has been living by somewhat alternative "skepticism" standards after beginning a relationship with a self-styled wellness guru Chevrin Jafarieh, who previously was a real estate businessman...which is, of course, where all ace science practice comes from. Among other things, Jafarieh preaches that you can change the molecular structure of water by positive thought. And that bending your body in certain ways can release toxins. And that using a trampoline can detoxify the body.
Djokovic has embraced these attitudes, and has been an outspoken anti-vaxxer, including about not taking a vaccine for the coronavirus. He also has stated that he holds a strong friendship bond with a fig tree in Brazil. And he supports his wife's belief that the coronavirus is part of a conspiracy involving 5G broadband technology.
So, y'know, when he writes that they organized the tournament "believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met" -- well, yeah, not so much.
Among other things, for example, players hugged each other, there was high five-ing with fans, there was no social distancing in the stands, and parties were held at night
Yes, I know. It's pretty ghoulish, most especially as far as meeting safe conditions goes.
And Djokovic also took time to relaxing playing some basketball with other tennis pals during a break in the tournament, here on the right along with Grigor Dimitrov.
Oh, by the way, it may not shock you to learn that Grigor Dimitrov is one of the four tennis players who, with Djokovic, tested positive for COVID-19.
So, yeah, "believing conditions for hosting the Tour had been met" requires a very flexible defining of the word "believing." And "met."
To be completely honest, I'm very sorry that anyone gets COVID-19, and I hope everyone at the event has a healthy recovery. Good luck to them all.
However, the issue isn't having a tournament, which is what Djokovic is apologizing for. The issue is the willful disregard of science protocols for safety at the event. Hugs, parties, no masks, no social distancing, high-fives, basketball. It put OTHERS not at the event at risk -- of spreading infection and death.
So, on full consideration, while the apology some nice things in it and which seem heartfelt, it's largely apologizing for the wrong thing. At best, as standards go for the Apology Institute of America from Nell Minow and myself, I initially decided I could give this a C- by stretching kindness as far as I could because of him being infected along with his wife, his philanthropic intent, and his sincerity of what he is saying -- though after more thought, it gets downgraded to a D+ because of what it doesn't say and when you remove the sympathy factor and good intentions for putting others at risk of their lives and then prorate for the photos and total disregard for science, which he tries to whitewash. If perhaps he had noted "I was a total asshole and will work hard the rest of my life, which I hope is long, to make up for this and will be donating time and money to the World Health Organization," he might have gotten a bump..
Mainly, though, this isn't about apologies. This is about reckless stupidity.