Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios acknowledged that he is an entertainer and that he wants to make a show for the fans every time he steps onto the court but underlined that he will never tolerate heckling or racial abuse.
On Saturday, Kyrgios was beaten by Andy Murray in the Stuttgart semifinal.
After the match, Kyrgios took to Instagram Story to reveal he was racially insulted during the match.
“I’m an entertainer,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram. “I’ve played this sport since I was 7 years old. I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve ever since I stepped on a tennis court. Yes, I’m human, I don’t deal with my emotions well all the time. I stopped caring about what people thought and their opinion on what I should be. I play this game to give people a show. To feel something, different from ordinary tennis.”
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Kyrgios: I won’t tolerate heckling and abuse
According to Kyrgios, he has been receiving racist comments and getting disrespected for many years.
Now, Kyrgios has made it clear that he absolutely won’t tolerate the racial abuse or disrespect.
“But one thing I won’t ever tolerate is spectators heckling and blasting abuse to athletes,” Kyrgios added. “It’s been happening personally to me for a while, from racist comments to complete disrespect. For years it’s been something I’ve brushed off but especially in Indian Wells and today all the way in Stuttgart, it’s made me realise that people seem to think it’s normal. Im seeing it happen in other sports, and to many other athletes. We are playing FOR YOU, whether you are backing the opponent or not. You may not think it’s a big deal, but it could affect someone’s life more than you think. Wake up to yourselves. Not just in tennis, but in every other sport. My young athletes, coloured or not, I hope that this message is heard so you don’t ever have to feel alienated, or embarrassed to be you and to perform on the world stage.”