What happened to the days when tennis was a gentleman’s sport? It still is, we suppose, for the most part; you don’t see Roger Federer whipping his hog out or anything. But you’d think that no matter what happens on a tennis court, both players would be free from the uglier aspects of human nature.
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. To that end, when Australian 19-year-old Bryden Klein lost his composure in a match with South African Raven Klaasan earlier, he melted down in such a horrific fashion that our international readers would probably prefer we put his language below the break.
ABC SPORT reports that Klein earned himself a six-month suspension for “racial abuse,” which almost seems like a sanitary description of what went down:
The 19-year-old was also fined about $14,000 over the abuse, which was directed at South Africa’s Raven Klaasan during a recent tournament in the UK.
He reportedly called Klaasan a “kaffir” and spat at his coach and another player.
“Kaffir,” mind you, is a slur that’s about on par with the Neutron Bomb. As for the spitting, well, you probably already know what’s wrong with that.
Klein’s suspension could be reduced to four months if he completes a racial sensitivity course; we’re sure that’ll be fun for him. But hey, if he wants something to do for those four months, we know somewhere where he’ll be welcome to swim a few laps.
The site mentions that Klein “has a reputable short fuse on the court,” which is a lamentably kind euphemism for “can be a total dick sometimes.” They also say he “has a history of poor behaviour,” which is a little closer to the truth, but still - can we please stop romanticizing the a$$hole in sports?
At least Dean Williams, the president of Tennis West, has the right idea:
“Tennis Australia is fed up. They are pouring a lot of money into these kids, hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.
“I’m sad in one way because he is a Perth boy but they have to, unfortunately, do this to show young kids it’s not acceptable.”
Oh, those Perth boys. Always with the ethnic slurs, those rapscallions.