Friday, 4 September 2015

Grow up Kyrgios!

Unless you've had your head under a sporting rock, you'd have heard a bit about Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios. Loaded with extreme talent, he has attracted harsh criticism world wide for his petulant antics and dummy spits both on and off the court.

Broken racquets, abused umpires and tanking games have been standard procedure in recent months. This is hardly new in tennis but was taken to another level recently when Kyrgios sledged double Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka with a comment about his mate "banging" Wawrinka's girlfriend.

This sledge lead to wide public condemnation and apparently a cold shoulder from fellow competitors in the locker room.

You know there's an issue when the former world king of the dummy spit, John McEnroe, blasts someone for their behaviour.

McEnroe had this to say on Kyrgios during the week:

“I hope he learns from these bonehead moves...You don’t want to be remembered as a clown. You want to be remembered as a player. So he better step up. Otherwise he won’t be talked about too much. He thinks he’s a vaudeville entertainer. I don’t know what’s going on here.” 
 “He's having such issues right now.”

Sledging an opponent with a call concerning the after hours work his mate was apparently doing on Wawrinka's girlfriend leapt the line of sportsmanship. Actually, it left sportsmanship in another galaxy.

Public sentiment on Kyrgios' attitude has been polarising with many condemning him for his immature attitude while others back him up due to his age.

I've read dozens of comments on social media to the effect of:

“Seriously, what were you doing when you were 20? Give the kid a break, he's just a kid.”

What a load of crap. When I was 20, I did things I now cringe at, but I always treated people with respect and was polite.

Why do we excuse bad behaviour? If my 2 year old son acted like Kyrgios, I'd be annoyed. If he did it at 20, I'd be completely embarrassed.

In Australia you can drive a car at 18, you can buy booze and cigarettes, you can enter “adult” venues and pubs, but if you want to act like a twat, you’re no longer an adult, you're just a kid. Really?

Tim Watson provided the best comment of all on his SEN radio segment called Watto’s waste on Melbourne radio yesterday morning:

“Kyrgios is only 20 but that doesn't excuse bonehead behaviour. He is immature and petulant. Nick, not very 20 year old with the world at their feet behaves like you. Next time you're sitting in your five star hotel and you're checking your Twitter and your Facebook, switch on the TV and watch some golf. Take a look at how Jordan Speith presents himself – similar age, and he's actually achieved something too. Yes, young men make mistakes, but they learn. The evidence you present is that you don't even acknowledge you're a tosser.”

Watson is absolutely spot on regarding Jordan Speith. The 22 year old Texan carries himself with a maturity that surpasses his years. His sportsmanship toward Jason Day on the 17th hole of the US PGA Championship when Day lagged a long putt close to the hole was exemplary, especially given he was chasing Day for the win and was running out of holes to snatch it. 

Speith's attitude toward family, especially his sister who suffers Down Syndrome, and the massive family charity work he does is quite amazing for a guy who, at 22 with two golf majors to his name, could quite easily let the money and fame get the better of him.

Nick, take note. It's time to grow up. You might even win a Grand Slam if you do.

All the best,

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