Jayne Hrdlicka Booed For Mentioning COVID-19 Vaccine During Australian Open Trophy Presentation
Scenes inside Rod Laver Arena quickly turned ugly during last night's Australian Open final trophy presentation.
Novak Djokovic had just been crowned champion for the ninth time, bringing his total Grand Slam haul to 18, but the Melbourne crowd were in a rather unusual mood.
And they weren't afraid of letting Tennis Australia president Jayne Hrdlicka know of their feelings - especially when it came to topics like the COVID-19 vaccine.
While taking the time in her speech to thank everyone involved in the Australian Open including all the major sponsors and the players themselves, Hrdlicka also touched on what the future of sport will look like once a coronavirus vaccine is rolled out Down Under.
"With vaccinations on the way, rolling out in many countries around the world, it's now a time for optimism and hope for the future," she said.
But Hrdlicka quickly realised that this was a bad move.
Her remarks didn't sit well with the Australian Open crowd at all who responded by booing her.
As cameras zoomed, you could see the awkward look on her face as she realised she was dealing with a rather tough crowd.
But unfortunately for Hrdlicka, the relentless boos didn't stop there.
Just moments later, she then thanked the Victorian government for its role in ensuring the prestigious tennis tournament went ahead without too many major blips.
"The top of that list (to thank) is the Victorian government, without you we could not have done this," Hrdlicka added.
But again, the live crowd weren't having a bar of it and a chorus of boos echoed around Rod Laver Arena.
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In a desperate bid to get the fans back onside, Hrdlicka wrapped up her speech by praising the supporters for their continued - well - support.
"Another big thank you goes to our fans," she said.
"All of you have helped make this a very, very special occasion.
"You are very opinionated group of people, but whether you're at home or here to night, we are really thankful that you're here. We look forward to seeing you next year."
Fans on social media were quick to condemn the Australian Open crowd for their actions, labelling them as "embarrassing" and "disgusting".
I actually can't believe what I've just witnessed. Australian Open final crowd booing the Covid vaccine. #AusOpen
- James Gray (@jamesgraysport) February 21, 2021
Embarrassing scenes at this #AusOpen presentation. Tennis Australia boss Jayne Hrdlicka booed by parts of crowd when mentioning the coronavirus vaccine rollout and thanking the Victorian government for the event. Hrdlicka notably failed to thank the people of Melbourne/Vic.
- Isabelle Lane (@isabellelane) February 21, 2021
Crowd getting bit wild here.
- José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 21, 2021
And so ends the 2021 Australian Open, with the crowd booing vaccines as Djokovic raises the trophy.
It was a weird-ass five weeks in Australia, tennis.#AusOpen
- Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 21, 2021
TA President Jayne Hrdlicka:
"With vaccinations on the way rolling out in many countries around the world, it's now a time for optimism..."
Parts of the crowd:
That's just embarrassing... Anti vaxxers unite #AusOpen
- Shane McInnes (@shanemcinnes) February 21, 2021
That was a really uncomfortable speech. Lot of boos at the mention of coronavirus vaccinations being rolled out. Bonkers.
- George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) February 21, 2021
Disheartening - and frankly, ridiculous - to hear spectators booing @AustralianOpen when Jayne Hrdlicka, Chair of Tennis Australia, mentioned vaccines in her on-court speech.
- James Chau (@jameschau) February 21, 2021
Featured Image Credit: Channel Nine
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