Tennis fans have shared their opinions on a commentator labeling Frances Tiafoe as “rude” at the Davis Cup Finals.
The US Davis Cup tennis team faced the Italian team in the quarterfinals in Malaga, Spain. Before the tie, the teams paid tribute to their respective home countries with their national anthem.
Interestingly, Tiafoe was seen wearing headphones during the national anthem recital. Although the headphones were not covering his ears, a few people found the act offensive, including the TV commentator and 1976 Roland Garros winner Adriano Panatta, who thought that the American player’s actions were disrespectful and called him “rude”. He further admitted that he had been the captain of the US team, he would have disbarred the player.
“He is rude. If I were his captain, I would kick him in the b*tt,” Adriano Panatta said.
Many fans, however, did not take well to Panatta’s comments and called him out for “dramatizing” the transpired event. One fan also noted that Tiafoe was being attentive and respectful.
“His hand is over his heart, he’s clearly paying attention. This is over dramatizing this, especially given a lot of athletes kneel for the anthem these days,” the fan remarked.
Frances Tiafoe’s girlfriend Ayan Broomfield defended the athlete by stating that nothing was playing on his headphones and lashed out at people for bothering the players with harsh claims over minor issues and jeopardizing their careers.
“They were off. There was nothing playing. people need to stop trying to cancel these athletes all the time. just let them play and leave them alone. Jesus,” she said, adding, “I really hate people using their platform to cast negative narratives about athletes or entertainers without knowing the full context. It can be very harmful to people’s lives and careers.”
Here are a few more fan reactions:
“A couple of weeks ago I was playing very aggressive” – Frances Tiafoe reflects on his Davis Cup loss to Lorenzo Sonego