Sports giant Nike’s former director Mike Nakajima has made a controversial comment regarding Novak Djokovic. He stated that World No.1 was not as marketable as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
Nakajima was quoted as saying that a ‘dark cloud’ looms over Djokovic which is the result of his own doings. “Djokovic could well be the most successful tennis player ever. But there’s always a dark cloud around him. It’s like he brings it upon himself,” Nakajima stated. His comments were printed in a recently-released book titled ‘The Roger Federer Effect’ co-written by Simon Cambers and Simon Graf.
He further cited examples to prove his point. “He hits the lineswoman at the US Open (in 2020) and gets disqualified? It happens, I guess. But why does it always happen to Novak? Or the whole controversy about the Covid-19 vaccination.”
Nakajima claimed that brands would rather associate themselves with players with clean images and not those who are always surrounded by controversies. Also Read: “It’s Unbelievable,” Bjorn Borg On Rafael Nadal’s Training Routine
How Much Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal Earned Through Sponsorship Deals Last Year?
As per Forbes, the 22-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic has earned $20 million from sponsorship and endorsement deals in 2020. But Federer, who played just one doubles match last year, earned $90 million.
According to Forbes, even Rafael Nadal was not close to Djokovic. The Spaniard earned $25 million from endorsement and sponsorship deals last year. Also Read: Novak Djokovic Expected To Miss Out Indian Wells List
Despite all that, French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who coached the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams from 2012 until her retirement last year, came in support of the Serb great. He took to Twitter and defended Djokovic.
“To answer Nakashima (Nakajima) about Nike and Novak: Whether we agree or not, like or dislike Novak, I personally prefer a real human being with his qualities, his beliefs, and his flows (flaws) than a perfect untrue image of perfection. Sanctifying perfection is denying our condition as humans,” he tweeted. Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz Registers 1st Win At Argentina Open After Injury
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