Former Olympian Dawn Fraser has apologised for comments she made on TV this morning about 20-year-old rising tennis star Nick Kyrgios.
During discussions about the tennis player’s behaviour at Wimbledown, where he lost in the fourth round overnight and was accused of “tanking” in the second set, the 77-year-old triple Olympics gold medallist took aim at Australian-born Kyrgios and fellow Australian player Bernard Tomic saying they should set a better example and “if they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or their parents came from.”
Kyrgios, returned serve, calling Fraser a “blatant racist” on Facebook.
This afternoon, Fraser sought to clarify her comments, saying they were not intended to attack the tennis player’s ethnicity – his father is Greek and mother, Malaysian – and apologised for any offence.
Here’s her full statement:
I want to unreservedly apologise for any comments that I made this morning which may have caused offence to my fellow Australians, including Nick and his family.
The live to air clip was part of a larger un-broadcasted interview, however this does not condone what was said.
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. Representing your country is the highest accolade for any athlete and being selected for Australia is both a privilege and an honour. Not only do you represent yourself, your team, your fans and your family, but you are representing the heritage of the competition and acting as a role model for young Australians.
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