Tennis World Needs to Stop Enabling the Boorish Behavior of Nick Kyrgios
By Ken Reed
Nick Kyrgios consistently acts like a jerk during tennis tournaments. And the powers that be in the world of tennis inexplicably enable his boorish, unsportsmanlike behavior.
Kyrgios lost in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Tuesday night this week. Afterwards, he demolished two of his racquets while stealing the spotlight from the classy competitor who had just beaten him, Karen Khachanov. During the match, he smashed his racquet on the ground in anger, and spent a lot of time screaming and cursing — often at the people in his own box, which included his girlfriend.
Basically, he acted like a spoiled child who belonged in timeout, not in the world’s biggest tennis stadium playing in one of the game’s biggest tournaments.
It’s truly the definition of insanity to continue to allow his despicable actions in the hope they might change at some point.
Earlier in the tournament he was seen spitting and swearing at his box.
“Go home if you’re not going to f—ing support me, bro,” Kyrgios shouted at his team.
Hey tennis poobahs, is this anyway to showcase and grow your sport?
To be sure, this isn’t new, or a one-off incident. Kyrgios consistently acts like this at tournaments all over the world. He’s the worst possible ambassador for the game of tennis you can imagine. In fact, he’s the very antithesis of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, tennis champions who consistently win and lose with class and dignity.
Perhaps Kyrgios is dealing with depression or other mental health issues. If so, there’s certainly no shame in that. But if that’s the case he needs the people closest to him, along with the game’s leaders, to help him get the psychological and medical attention he needs. Instead, his team and the game’s top organizations and officials continue to tolerate and condone his outlandish actions on the game’s biggest stages.
Kyrgios occasionally gets fined for his outbursts, but the fines are small and, in effect, are nothing but tiny slaps on the wrist. Clearly, they have done absolutely nothing to change his behavior.
What’s really a shame is that kids who love tennis all over the world have to watch Kyrgios epitomize terrible sportsmanship virtually every time he steps on a court.
There’s simply no place in tennis — or anywhere in sports — for Kyrgios’ indefensible behavior.
Ban him. For a year.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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