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
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon