Tennis star Kyrgios in ‘racist’ spat with swim legend Fraser.
Nick Kyrgios was accused of not trying, or “tanking”, during his defeat by Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon yesterday and was given a warning for bad language.
Commenting on the 20-year-old’s antics, Fraser said players who did not set a better example should “go back to where their parents came from”.
Kyrgios – who has born in Australia to Greek and Malaysian parents – said the former Olympic champion was a “blatant racist”.
Fraser, 77, initially stood by her comments but later issued an “unreserved apology” to Kyrgios and his family.
In the wake of Kyrgios’s Wimbledon exit, Fraser – who won 100 metres freestyle gold at three successive Olympics from 1956 – told the Today show: “It’s absolutely disgusting.
“I am so shocked to think that he went out there to play and he tanked, he did all that tanking, that’s terrible.
“They should be setting a better example for the younger generation of this country, a great country of ours.
“If they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or their parents came from. We don’t need them here in this country if they act like that.”
Kyrgios responded by linking to a video of Fraser’s comment on his Facebook page.
“Throwing a racket, brat. Debating the rules, disrespectful. Frustrated when competing, spoilt. Showing emotion, arrogant,” the player wrote.
“Blatant racist, Australian legend.”
Amid mounting criticism, Fraser issued a formal statement of apology.
Australians have a rich sporting heritage made up of individuals from a variety of different countries of origin.
My intended message, which was not delivered as articulately as it could have been, was on a purely sporting level rather than meant as an attack on Nick’s ethnicity.
Nick’s representing Australia and I want to see him representing Australian tennis in the best possible light.