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"You cannot be serious!" & Kyrgios

Updated on July 13, 2015

Boo to political correctness in Sports

Okay, fair enough. Times have changed and the addition of a ground-breaking technology known as hawk-eye is making it increasingly difficult for tennis players to complain about decisions or run of play. In the "old" days, players would shout and scream when they thought the umpire was wrong - like a child who's denied his second-ration of ice-cream - and then go up to him to make their intentions known. A vivid image of this can be conjured up when thinking of the likes of John mcEnroe - you know the bushy hair, wooden racket and typical opinionated american - blurting out his infamous catchphrase "You caaannnnoooooooot BE SERIOUS!" while his opponents, - think of Bjorn Borg -, stood their motionless waiting for the drama to end.

Nowadays, and because I think we've become a touch more sensitive - not least because of all the media scrutinization -, there isn't as much room for spectacles on court. Players are expected to deliver a reasonably good show - by demonstration of their tennis and athletic skills - and brush aside the rest. Think of Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak and Nadal; they are the products of the modern player: athletic and character-less. Okay, this may sound harsh and I'm sure that behind the veneer of seriousness, there may lurk the remnants of razor-sharp comedians, but on court they are just robots playing a game. Now I'm not saying players should complain or make a scene for the sake of it, but as competitors, they should be completely free to display emotions of all kinds when they are playing at such a high-level with such enormous stakes.

The point of issue is that rather than booing, criticising and magnifying players when they act in an unorthodox manner, we should let them roam around freely and ensure they are in the most comfortable environment to deliver their best display of tennis. When I read about the recent Kyrgios, who, at wimbledon, received jeers of bitter jibes because of his "attitude" on court, I immediately came to the rash conclusion that today's world is insufferable and punitive. This needs to change.


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