Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after slur
Controversial Wimbledon star Nick Kyrgios has labelled Australian swimming great Dawn Fraser a "blatant racist" after she told the tennis prospect to "go back where their parents came from".
20-year-old Kyrgios hit the headlines again for all the wrong reasons on Monday when he appeared to throw at least one game in the second set of his fourth round defeat to Richard Gasquet. Kyrgios initially appeared to stop trying to return the ball, before continually muttering words under his breath and engaging in a back-and-forth argument with the match umpire.
Despite battling back from two sets down to challenge to level the game, Frenchman Gasquet took the fourth set and the victory, and Kyrgios’ antics clearly did not go down well with the eight-time Olympic medallist.
Speaking on Channel Nine’s Today program about both Kyrgios and his fellow tennis star Bernard Tomic – who is German-born with his father Croatian and mother Bosnian – Fraser said: “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.”
Fraser was asked a question by Australian TV presenter Karl Stefanovic, who himself became embroiled in a racism row in March this year when he made racially motivated comments to Indian cricket fans during the series between Australia and India.
However, Kyrgios responded to Fraser’s remarks on his Facebook page, in which he sarcastically analysed his own performance before called Fraser a “blatant racist, Australian legend”.
“Throwing a racket, brat. Debating the rules, disrespectful. Frustrated when competing, spoilt. Showing emotion, arrogant. Blatant racist, Australian legend,” wrote Kyrgios.
His mother, Nill Kyrgios, refused to attack Fraser in a similar manner, but took to Twitter to say that the former Olympian was “out of line”.
“I have no comments on Dawn Frasers nasty racist attack...but she is out of line. #unaustralianbehaviour,” she wrote.
I have no comments on Dawn Frasers nasty racist attack...but she is out of line. #unaustralianbehaviour— nill kyrgios (@nillkyrgios) July 7, 2015
Fraser spoke again to deny that she was a racist, but insisted that she stood by her initial quotes because Kyrgios and Tomic were “not being good Australians”.
“I’m not a racist person, if you take it that way then I’m sorry that you take it that way, but I’m not racist at all,” she told Fairfax Media.
“I said, ‘If they don’t want to be Australians then maybe they should go back to the country where their parents come from’. That’s not being racist.
“I can see it being interpreted that way ... but it wasn’t intended that way. I said they were not good Australians by behaving the way they are on court. Do you think they are?”
Fraser has been caught up in similar controversies before, having said in 1997 that she was sympathetic to Pauline Hanson, leader of the right-wing One Nation Party, and considered standing for them in the 1998 election, stating: “We’ve got a lot of problems in our own country and we should be looking at our own first, before looking overseas.”
Independent News Service