Racism pops up its ugly head anywhere, and sports stars usually get their fair share of it, so there was no surprise when leading Barbadian tennis player, Darian King, came in for servings of this horrid abuse recently.
Angry sports betters pounced on the leading Barbados tennis player, ranked number 173 in the world, after he suffered an upset loss to 283 ranked Laurynas Grigelis, in an ATP World Tour fixture in Binghamton, New York, bombarding his Instagram account with racial slurs along with other insults.
Among the invectives hurled by these persons who apparently lost bets on what should seemed a sure-win game for King was, “Go back to jungle, brainless monkey”; “I genuinely hope someone breaks your legs or that you crash your car, you match fixing disgrace…”; “wish you cancer match-fixer. Wish your mother cancer too”.
The vulgarity in some of the other messages posted after the July 27 match make them unpublishable.
“It comes with the sport, unfortunately, and I have gotten used to it,” the Nation newspaper reported King saying.
Adding that in Tennis as in many other sports anyone could lose on a bad day regardless of ranking, he said “we don’t ever play to lose, and people must understand this is a job for us and I’m just here trying to work through this process”.
“You just have to blank that out and forget that stuff, but we’re told to report these types of things because you really don’t want to be seeing these racist comments and threats to your family.
“I’m not sure if there is anything the authorities can do about it, but it would be great if we didn’t have to deal with it because this is a job like anything else and one that comes with
absolutely no guarantees,” he said.
What appears to be guaranteed however is that professional athletes will continue to suffer abuses, which are made even worse when spiced with racial slurs.