Tennis star lashes out at media after ‘homophobic tweets’ are unearthed
US Tennis star Tennys Sandgren has apologised after he received criticism for insensitive tweets.
The American tennis star, who reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open this week, came under fire over the message on social media.
Sandgren, the world number 97-ranked player, sent the messages in 2012, aged 21.
He wrote: “stumbled into a gay club last night… my eyes are still bleeding #nooneshouldseethat”
The sportsman added: “what can I say the trannies were calling to me”.
After critics accused him of homophobia, Sandgren opted to read out a statement following his quarter-final match at the Australian Open, lashing out at the media.
He said: “You seek to put people in these little boxes so that you can order the world in your already assumed preconceived ideas.
“You strip away any individuality for the sake of demonising by way of the collective.
”With a handful of follows and some likes on Twitter, my fate has been sealed in your minds.
”To write an edgy story, to create sensationalist coverage, there are a few lengths you wouldn’t go to to mark me as the man you desperately want me to be.
”You would rather perpetuate propaganda machines instead of researching information from a host of angles and perspectives while being willing to learn, change, and grow.
“You dehumanize with pen and paper and turn neighbour against neighbour. In so doing, you may actually find you’re hastening the hell you wish to avoid, the hell we all wish to avoid.”
His comments, and failure to apologise, led to criticism from tennis legend Serena Williams.
She said: “I don’t need or want one, but there is a entire group of people that deserves an apology.
“I can’t look at my daughter and tell her I sat back and was quiet. No! she will know how to stand up for herself and others- through my example.
“Maturity is being able to apologise and admit when you’re wrong because you know that your mistakes don’t define you.”
He eventually released a one-line apology on Twitter.
Tennys Sandgren of the United States (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Sandgren wrote: “In regards to the gay club tweet from 2012, I used poor and harsh words to describe a bad experience, and is not indicative of how I feel about the people in that community. To everyone I offended with that, pls accept my apology”.
The tennis player, who grew up in Tennessee, crashed out of the Australian Open on Wednesday in a match against South Korea’s Chung Hyeon.
Last year Margaret Court, an Australian former tennis World Number One, made a splash with a string of homophobic comments.
In further rants she has likened gay people to Hitler, claimed that homosexuality is an ungodly “lust for the flesh”, that LGBT tendencies in young people were “all the devil”, and that older lesbian tennis stars have ‘converted’ younger players.
In a radio interview, she said: “Tennis is full of lesbians… when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led, that took young ones into parties and things.”
Wimbledon champ Andy Murray condemned the comments after a match.
The British play said: I don’t see why anyone has a problem with two people who love each other getting married.
“If it’s two men, two women, that’s great. I don’t see why it should matter. It’s not anyone else’s business. Everyone, in my opinion, should have the same rights. I don’t agree with [her stance].
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He also suggested that he may refuse to play on the Margaret Court Arena, which is named after the player.
Murray said: “If something was to be done, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts.
“For players to be in a position where you’re in a slam and boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues.
“So I think if something was going to be happen and the players come to an agreement, if they think the name should be changed or whatever.
“But I would imagine a lot of the players would be pretty offended. So we’ll see what happens.”