“I really don’t think it’s fair that a whale like Jelena Dokic takes my joy of watching tennis and turns it to crap, all she does is talk,” read a comment under the former player and current commenter Dokic’s Instagram post. We’d think people are becoming kinder given what the world has been collectively put through with the pandemic and the suffering but we’re hitting a new low by the minute.
Just when we’d think online trolling couldn’t get worse, the comment section under Jelena Dokic, former tennis player and current commentator at Australian Open tells a different story. Jelena Dokic, 39, is a former professional tennis player who was ranked world no 4 at the peak of her career. The Australian-Serbian player retired in 2014 and has since been involved in the game in one way or another.
Jelena Dokic Body Shamed
While Dokic has been working exceptionally well as a commentator at the 2023 Australian Open, a recent clip featuring an interview with Novak Djokovic gained great attention. As someone who has been an integral part of the court, Dokic’s impeccable knowledge of the sport was a given. However, online abuse and trolling the past few days have not just taken away from her great run at the tournament so far but also damaged her spirit in more ways than one.
Sharing a heartbreaking post on her social media on Monday, Dokic disclosed the surge of hate comments and trolling she has been facing the past few days, and how online abuse over the years even pushed her to consider suicide on a previous occasion.
Suggested Reading: Geeta Kapur Opened About How Trolls Body Shamed Her
“The body shaming and fat shaming over the last few days have been insane. Coming from everywhere in the world and a special shoutout to so much of it coming from Serbia,” she wrote. Sharing screenshots of the brutal comments coming her way, Dokic revealed that most of the comments were made by women. “So much for ‘women supporting women,'” she exclaimed.
“The most common comment being ‘what happened to her, she is so big’? I will tell you what happened, I am finding a way and surviving and fighting.”
Emphasising why kindness matters most in today’s world, she continued, “Being a good person matters, which those of you that abuse me and others, are clearly not. I can and will work to be in better health but you will not become a better person. Weight will change but evil people will remain evil.”
Dokic received support and love from her tennis community of players and fellow commentators and thanking them, she write how their having her back has helped her in this tournament and she would continue to fight for herself.
Why are we as a people so brutal?
One of the four Grand Slams in Lawn Tennis, Australian Open is generating a series of controversies right from the beginning. From the referees and players not being allowed bathroom breaks to some fans’ creating a ruckus in an inebriated state, the tournament is grabbing headlines and not in a positive manner.
Calling Dokic’s experience a controversy is unfair to her and to the larger issue because it’s not just about a comment, it’s about the constant body shaming that most people are subjected to without an ounce of remorse on the abuser’s end.
Prior to the AO 2023, a social media user had written, “Now that the Australian Open is starting, will Jelena Dokic try to kill herself like she does every year?” How evil do you have to be to write such a comment for someone who clearly shared her mental health issues publicly?
In June last year, the popular commentator on Channel 9, had opened up about her depression revealing that her mental health issues drove her to suicide in April 2022. Taking to Instagram, she wrote, “28.04.2022, I almost jumped off my 26th-floor balcony and took my own life. Will never forget the day.”
Many social media users have stated that body shaming is not new and people must be strong enough to take a joke. Well, there’s nothing funny in bringing people down. Definitely nothing funny in pushing them on the verge of nervous and mental breakdowns especially when they’re out and about minding their own business.
The fans of the game who are engaging in online abuse against Dokic, how do you think this makes you true fans of the sport that she has been an integral part of? To disregard everything that a former world no 4 has contributed to the game and continues to do so and limit her to her body type and go above and beyond to make her feel bad about herself takes a lot of free time and a lot of evil inside. This definitely doesn’t make you a fan of the game, it makes you a terrible troll.
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