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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 11, 2022 12:37am-1:06am PST

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this is "nightline." tonight, advantage djokovic. the tennis superstar wins a key battle to stay in australia. >> you're seeing emotions from every angle. you know, people are tired. >> from football to basketball. the elite athletes courting controversy with their vaccine choices. >> the pedestal that people like aaron rodgers, kyrie irving, novak djokovic are on, they can influence behavior. >> plus remembering bob saget. >> d.j., we're still a family, and now is when we really need to stick together. >> with the '90s hit "full
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house" that never got old he returned to his comedic roots. >> it's not about money. you're doing stuff to be famous. that's not the answer. you've got to do it because you love it with all your heart. >> fans and friends knew he was more than just a wholesome tv dad. anhisty ma a mj rodriguez is honored for her role in "pose." >> "nightline" will be right back. detergent... that's why more dishwasher brands recommend cascade platinum. it's specially-designed with the soaking, scrubbing and rinsing built right in. cascade platinum's unique actionpacs dissolve quickly... remove stuck-on food. . . for sparkling-clean dishes, the first time. choose the detergent that lets your dishwasher do the dishes! cascade platinum. the number one recommended brand in north america.
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thanks for joining us. i'm janai norman. novak djokovic is unquestionably one of the greatest tennis players of all time, an experienced and determined competitor, but the battle that he's waging now is about more than tennis or even sports. some say his fight to compete unvaccinated in the australian open is about personal choice, but others say he's setting a bad example. here's "nightline's" ashan singh. >> reporter: unrest in melbourne, australia. all for a tennis player. supporters swarming a car they believe to be carrying tennis superstar novak djokovic. the chaos in response to a highly anticipated ruling. djokovic released from an immigration detention hotel where he had been held for days. a federal judge upholding djokovic's appeal to stay in the country despite being unvaccinated. ahead of his attempt to defend his australian open title. now the real match-up is between djokovic and the australian government.
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the number one tennis player in the world sparking an international firestorm by attempting to enter a country that is 92% fully vaccinated. efforts in combating the coronavirus. as some unvaccinated athletes in the united states are not just competing but thriving in their sport as well. all while the omicron variant persists. >> novak djokovic's story is like a mirror. we're holding up a mirror to ourselves. it truly is a parable for our times. >> reporter: now all eyes are on the outback. the nation with one of the most stringent covid policies. and they're letting djokovic know he's nobody special. >> it's our rule. that's it. no jab, no play. >> reporter: novak djokovic, a 34-year-old from belgrade, serbia, is an international icon and one of the most popular athletes in the world. >> novak, he's played throughout a lot of his career with a little bit of a chip on his
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shoulder. he's got a little me against the world mentality. he grew up in serbia. as he started out on the tour, he was behind federer. then he was behind nadal. but slowly but surely over the last decade he's caught up to those guys. >> reporter: winner of 20 grand slams including the 2021 australian open, his off-kilter persona in an otherwise serious sport earned him the nickname the joker. >> djokovic has been more the evil guy, the outsider, the rival of these two beloved, federer and nadal. it's not that he's a terrible person. but he has certainly been a much harder-edged personality. >> reporter: now as djokovic seeks to claim a men's record 21st grand slam title, he and his team are arguing that they entered australia according to protocol, that he tested positive for the virus in december and after two weeks had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of covid-19 in the last 72 hours, which they say met the
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entry criteria for australia's department of home affairs. >> he followed what he was supposed to do. in fact, it was a tipoff when the judge said he did everything we asked him to do as the country of australia. so overturned. we accept his appeal. >> reporter: but video of djokovic maskless at a public event after that positive test is now raising questions. whether he knew of his covid status at the time is not known. his brother refusing to answer today when he was asked about it. >> this press conference is adjourned. >> reporter: djokovic isn't the only athlete of his stature to take such a controversial position. green bay packers quarterback aaron rodgers faced criticism for telling reporters he was immunized during a preseason press conference last august. >> are you vaccinated and what's your stance on vaccinations? >> yeah, i've been immunized. there's guys on the team that haven't been vaccinated. i think it's a personal decision. i'm not going to judge those guys. >> reporter: after reports of rodgers testing positive midseason came to light the
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36-year-old, an mvp front-runner, appeared on the pat mcafee show confirming he is unvaccinated and sought alternate therapy. >> i consulted with a now good friend of mine, joe rogan, after he got covid. and i've been doing a lot of the stuff that he recommended in his podcasts. >> there's a real fallacy here for the novak djokovics and the aaron rodgers of the world. to think that they're all -- you know, they've got all the answers. and then really be coy and not tell us, mislead, at least misdirect everyone over all these many months. why? why? >> reporter: player choice has been a common thread in sports in the united states where vaccination has turned into a debate over personal freedom. nba player and brooklyn nets star kyrie irving, who ruse refused to get the vaccine, was forced to sit out of the beginning of the nba season due to new york's vaccine requirements in indoor spaces. irving later taking to social media to clear the air. >> it's about choosing what's
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best for you. you think i really want to lose money? >> reporter: protests in support of kyrie soon followed. >> stand with kyrie! >> reporter: now as the omicron variant has depleted nba rosters, the nets have welcomed irving back to play away games. making his season debut last week in indiana. in the presser following the game irving addressed his absence. >> you know, i just really empathize and i understood their choice to say if you're not going to be vaccinated, fully vaccinated then you can't be a full participant. >> and that's i think the danger here, is the pedestal that people like aaron rodgers, kyrie irving and novak djokovic are on they can influence behavior. >> it's a very complicated situation, isn't it? that you have these star athletes being able to still perform. there's not many of them. and you've got many of us around the world, whether we work in journalism, whether we're teachers, whether we're doctors, whether we're nurses, it's been pretty clear, you either get vaccinated or you lose your job.
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then you see these athletes, i'm not going to say flaunting the rules, but not abiding by these rules that the governments have put in place, that science supposedly has told us is what we need to do, all of us collectively, to get out of this pandemic. so that's why you're seeing emotions from every angle. >> it's important it to note that rodgers, irving and djokovic are outliers in the sports world. most professional athletes in the u.s. are in fact vaccinated. can you just help us understand why some of these athletes are pursuing alternative medical treatment to actually getting the vaccine? >> no, i can't, because i don't think it's a rational decision. when people say to me i'm worried about some long-term side effects of the vaccine, i say back i'm about 100 times more worried about the long-term side effects of covid. and there really are no alternative treatments to prevent covid that have been demonstrated to work nearly as well as the vaccine. >> reporter: personal choice is
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one thing. but experts worry about the influence these stars have in getting the public immunized. >> my real concerns about them are less about them and more about their platforms, more about the fact that they are extraordinary influencers, and so they will influence people to make what is a very bad medical decision. >> reporter: while djokovic hasn't appeared publicly, he took to instagram to thank his fans. "despite all that has happened, i want to stay and try to compete. i remain focused on that." australia's immigration minister now considering recanceling djokovic's visa, which could restart proceedings. >> from a sports perspective what's at stake for djokovic not being able to defend his title here? >> well, i think it's even bigger than that now. he's become in many ways a symbol for people that are anti-covid vaccination, a symbol for people that are standing up to their own governments or other governments or, you know, rules that are put in place.
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so it's about way more than what he's going to do on the tennis court in the next couple weeks in australia. >> reporter: canceling his visa again would mean a three-year ban from entering australia, throwing djokovic's pursuit for the most grand slams of all time in jeopardy. >> whether djokovic ends up winning or not, i think he has lost. i think he's lost big-time. he has really shown his personality and his mindset to the world. and when you see that as a fan, you may make a judgment that would be different from what you thought of him. or you may say i don't care if he's vaccinated or not, i just want to watch him hit a tennis ball. and that may end up being what happens. >> our thanks to ashan. up next, a look back at the comedic life and career of bob saget, america's dad on "full house." ca's dad on "full house." looking to get back in your type 2 diabetes zone?
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bob saget may be best remembered for the wholesome tv dad on the sitcom "full house," a favorite now of generations not yet born when it first aired. but saget was also a popular stand-up comic with a cult following. ♪ whatever happened to predictability ♪ >> reporter: for millions of americans it was a call to settle in for a half hour of american nostalgia. ♪ when you're lost out there and you're all alone ♪ >> from dad jokes. >> i'm a lean mean hugging machine.
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>> reporter: to sage advice. >> d.j., we're still a family. and now is when we really need to stick together. >> reporter: bob saget starred as the beating heart of sitcom "full house," personifying the average american father. >> steph, i think it's wonderful you wanted to throw comet a birthday party but did you have to invite every dog on the block? >> reporter: his perpetual presence thanks to reruns kept saget on screen for decades. but this weekend shock and sadness as america's dad unexpectedly died. >> it's going to be for a male patient. caller is advising it's an obvious death stating a security officer found the guest not breathing, no pulse. >> reporter: the 65-year-old comedic legend found unresponsive in his hotel room in florida just hours after finishing a successful show from his ongoing tour. >> thank you. one person as demented as me. >> reporter: these short clips showing saget during a two-hour set.
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the show went so well saget posted this on instagram afterward. a selfie, writing, "i'm back in comedy like i was when i was 26. i guess i'm finding my new voice and loving every moment of it." >> when i spoke to him, he sounded -- he sounded really good. >> reporter: long-time friend and fellow comic gilbert gottfried had recently talked with saget as he kicked off this latest tour. >> i found out about this yesterday. i thought it was a sick joke. and i was waiting for the punchline. and then it didn't come. >> reporter: the police report says a security team member went to check on saget after his family called and he failed to check out of his room at the ritz-carlton in orlando. they found saget in bed unresponsive. there was no evidence of drug use or foul play. an autopsy was performed today, but determining the cause of death could take several more weeks, even months. his wife, kelly, releasing a
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statement saying "bob was my absolute everything. i am so completely shattered and in disbelief." >> he was one of the good guys. >> reporter: melissa rivers reflecting on her friend and how he supported her when her famous mom joan rivers passed away in 2014. >> she thought bob was hilarious and very much respected how multifaceted his career was. >> reporter: saget started his comedy career back in the late '70s after graduating temple university. by 1984 he'd made a home the accommodate clubs. >> bob saget. >> reporter: in this clip from hbo saget is called on stage by rodney dangerfield. >> i love my mom and you can too for just $12. i'm sorry. that was easy. let that go. i'm sorry. don't applaud that.
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you're scum, buddy. you really are. >> reporter: just a few years later in 1987 the young comic known for racy jokes and dirty language would get his big break. >> you're a natural. >> reporter: as a clean freak widower raising three daughters with his best friends. >> d.j., we have to talk. >> you don't understand. i don't like the way i look. >> reporter: his advice as dad danny tanner guiding a generation. >> how a person looks on the outside isn't nearly as important as who they are on the inside. >> right. >> reporter: saget never could shake the wholesome g-rated persona of danny tanner cultivated over eight seasons. >> bob saget! >> reporter: a family-friendly vibe he kept up while hosting "america's funniest home videos." >> we've got a lady who sleeps with a stuffed moose, a boy who makes face noises and a man who plays dueling banjos with his ears. and they say there's no quality tv. >> all my friends are saying bob, this is the good time in your life, enjoy it now. >> i'm going to tell you an incredible story. >> reporter: and even more, narrating every episode of "how i met your mother." >> 25 years ago, before i was dad, i had this whole other life. >> reporter: all of it a far cry
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from the raunchy and often profane humor his friends remember. >> there was a movie "the aristocrats." and they were surprised that he could talk dirty or sick or anything. and people who knew him weren't at all surprised by this. >> so then they start singing "make them laugh." >> reporter: "the aristocrats" was a 2005 documentary featuring stand-up comedians all telling versions of a taboo dirty joke. many viewers had never seen this side of america's dad. >> can i get a tape of this for my reel? i want to show this to my dad. i've got to finish the joke. >> reporter: saget's influence in the comedy world extends far. mentoring stars like the office's b.j. novak. >> please welcome in my friend b.j. novak. >> reporter: the two appearing on saget's podcast, "bob saget's here for you," co-starring some of his famous friends. >> when i moved out to write on your show, i'm sure you remember, you called my mom at home. and my mom was very worried.
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i remember her face. and she was talking to you and nodding and nodding and you said i'm going to take care of him. >> reporter: but he always stayed connected to his "full house" family whether as guests on his show or on others. the comic waxing poetic about john stamos during a visit with jimmy kimmel. >> people were like john, handsome and smart and didn't talk about show business. talked about family. and -- >> oh. wow. >> and that's why "full house" will never go off the air. >> reporter: they would all reunite on screen for the reboot "fuller house." stamos tweeting "i am broken. i am gutted. i am in complete and utter shock. i will never, ever have another friend like him. i love you so much, bobby." >> talking about it, that's what helps me. talking about the memories. >> hey, bob saget. >> reporter: in one of his last interviews with florida station wjxt just days before his death, saget said this about how he
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views his job. >> i really love doing stand-up now more than i ever have, and i don't -- i don't talk politics. i don't talk religion. i just want to make people laugh. you know? >> reporter: in his book "dirty daddy" saget summed up his philosophy like this. >> i am very proud of the life i have led so far. i have a lot of love in my life and a lot of laughs. and i wish that for you all. up next, the history-making moment you probably missed in this year's golden globe awards. plaque psoriasis, the tightness, stinging... ...the pain. emerge tremfyant®. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them.
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finally tonight, the golden globe awards were handed out sunday night in los angeles, and if you missed it, well, you're not alone. practically everyone did. the ceremony was scaled back after a series of scandals rocked the hollywood foreign press association. but there was one history-making moment. mj rodriguez took home the award for best actress in a drama
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series for her role as blanca in the fx series "pose." making her the first transgender actress to win a golden globe. she took to instagram thanking her fans. >> number one, thank you golden globes. this is for the lgbtqai black latina asian, the many multibeautiful colors of the rainbow around the freaking world. this is not just for me. this is for y'all. this is the door that opens for y'all. >> and we join so many in congratulating her. that's "nightline." you can watch all of our full


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