Kyrgios in 'racist' spat with swim legend

2015-07-07 08:16
Nick Kyrgios (AP)

Sydney - Temperamental Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios slammed swimming legend Dawn Fraser as a "blatant racist" on Tuesday after she told him to "go back to where his parents came from" following his stormy Wimbledon exit.

Kyrgios's colourful antics, on show at the All England Club, have split Australians with some seeing him as good for a sport in need of characters, but others claiming his behaviour is petulant and disrespectful.

After losing in four sets to France's Richard Gasquet on Monday, he was accused of giving up or "tanking" a game during a disastrous second set and responded to media questions on the incident with a string of sarcastic replies.

Sporting icon Fraser, winner of eight Olympic medals for Australia including four golds from 1956-64, blasted his behaviour in a national television interview as "absolutely disgusting".

"I am so shocked to think that he went out there to play and he tanked... he did all that tanking, it's terrible," she said on the Nine Network.

She also appeared to take aim at Bernard Tomic, who was axed from Australia's Davis Cup team on Sunday after a extraordinary tirade at Tennis Australia.

"They should be setting an example for the younger generation of this great country of ours," she said.

"If they don't like it, go back to where their fathers or parents came from. We don't need them in this country if they act like that."

Australian-born Kyrgios's father hails from Greece while his mother is from Malaysia. Tomic is German-born with a Croatian father and Bosnian mother - the family migrated to Australia when he was three.

Kyrgios, who denied giving up in the second set as he was booed by the crowd, hit back at Fraser on Facebook.

"Throwing a racket, brat. Debating the rules, disrespectful. Frustrated when competing, spoilt. Showing emotion, arrogant," wrote the 20-year-old, with a link to the Fraser interview.

"Blatant racist, Australian legend."

His mother Nill added her thoughts on Twitter.

"I have no comments on Dawn Frasers nasty racist attack...but she is out of line. #unaustralianbehaviour,"she posted.

Fraser, who once voiced support for some of the policies of notorious anti-immigration MP Pauline Hanson, later defended her controversial remarks, claiming: "I'm not a racist person.

"If you take (my comments) that way then I'm sorry that you take it that way, but I'm not racist at all," she told Fairfax Media.

Fraser added that Kyrgios was "just bad mannered; he's just a bad sport" and said Australians would stop watching him and Tomic if they carried on in the same vein.

"The boys are behaving disgracefully as far as sportsmen are concerned, they're not setting a good example for children that follow them," she said.

"Pull your head in and show good sportsmanship on and off the court."

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane insisted Australia was "a society where immigrants are eager and are encouraged to become citizens and claim their place as an equal among us".

"Contrary to what the likes of Dawn Fraser might say, most Australians do not tell migrants and their children to go back to where they came from," he said.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  nick kyrgios  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 14. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 17. When all is said and done, who wins more?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.