Last week, I had some fun talking about the hard times Evander Kane is going through when it comes to his finances. You know, guy who’s made $53 million in his National Hockey League lifetime files for bankruptcy with close to $27 million in debt? Yeah, that tool.
This week, it’s time to look at another aspect of why professional athletes and their hangers-on tick us off to no end and we go to Australia for this. It’s the Australian Open tennis tournament and it’s all set to kick off Feb. 10 in Melbourne. All of the biggest stars in tennis are ready to serve it up for more than $70 million in prize money and with it comes all the snottiness, self-servitude and woe-is-me attitude you can handle.
For starters, Tennis Australia has been flying players and their entourages into the country on charter flights with everyone expected to quarantine for 14 days before heading out. I’ve never been to Australia but I do know it has one of the strictest border controls anywhere on the planet and you can bet they made sure those players who needed to quarantine did so.
But some players didn’t like being stuffed up inside hotel rooms and that included Novak Djokovic, the reigning and defending men’s singles champon. Djokovic sent a letter to Tennis Australia earlier this month with a list of demands – and yes, that’s what they were – including the following:
Private housing with tennis courts for players, a shorter time in isolation than the common schmucks who have to spend 14 days inside four walls, in-person access to coaches and better food.
The beauty of a list of demands is that they can be submitted and they can be turned down. That’s what the premier of the state of Victoria, Dan Andrews, did when he was told of what Djokovic and his fellow travellers wanted. He said thanks but no thanks. No special treatment at all and rightly so. These players knew what they were getting into and if they want to play, they follow the rules like everyone else. Sounds simple enough, right?
Not to be outdone in this entire mess is Vanessa Sierra. Who is that, you may be asking? That’s OK – I had no idea who she was, either.
Apparently, she’s the girlfriend of Australian player Bernard Tomic, who’s qualified to play in this year’s tournament. They’re having to suffer the indignity of spending a few days in a hotel room in Melbourne while the quarantine period comes to an end and it’s an absolute nightmare for her.
Don’t believe me? Just listen to this list of gripes:
While other players in quarantine have been busy doing their best to prepare and practice for the big show and simply trying to bide their time as best as they can, Sierra took to social media to talk about first-world problems such as no fresh sheets on a daily basis, no housekeeping and having to wash their plates in the sink.
Oh, but it gets more tragic.
Tomic has been forced to play World of Warcraft for up to 11 hours per day, according to the put-off Sierra, and she’s been playing Pokemon. Again, other players have been able to make the best of a tough situation. Sierra is worried about sheets and Pokemon.
The food in the hotel isn’t up to their liking – Tomic is a vegetarian, apparently – so they’ve had to order in food. That isn’t the greatest, either, said Sierra, and it’s such an expensive venture. I can give her that one. Vegetarians need different food and if Tomic has a specific diet, he needs the right food.
But here’s the biggest and most troubling situation of all. Are you ready? Sit down if you need to and grab a hold of something firm. Colouring books and Play-Doh at the ready, kids. Take a deep breath. Kiss your loved ones one last time. The worst thing of all is …
Vanessa Sierra has to wash her own hair. In quarantine. By herself. Prayers up for Vanessa Sierra and her hair, y’all. She doesn’t wash her own hair, you see – she has hairdressers do it twice a week for her.
So you people who have been in lockdown or been placed on furlough because you can’t go to work or who are trapped because you can’t go outside, or who are unemployed because you’ve lost your job because of Covid-19, or who may be on the verge of losing your living arrangements because you can’t afford to pay rent or mortgage – quit your bellyaching. Vanessa Sierra has to figure out how to wash her hair without someone doing it for her.
So remember this, gang: just when you think you have it tough, remember that there are those who have it tougher.
Remember those millionaires stuck in quarantine, won’t you?