Home Sports BBC told ‘hang your head in shame’ as Nick Kyrgios pundit role at Wimbledon sparks fury

BBC told ‘hang your head in shame’ as Nick Kyrgios pundit role at Wimbledon sparks fury

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Nick Kyrgios – BBC spices up Wimbledon coverage by hiring Nick Kyrgios

Tennis fans praise Nick Kyrgios’ impressive commentary at the Australian Open – Getty Images/Graham Denholm

The BBC’s plans to hire Nick Kyrgios as a Wimbledon pundit this summer have sparked outrage among senior MPs and women’s campaigners.

Caroline Nokes, chair of the women and equalities committee, said the corporation should “hang its head in shame” for agreeing terms after he last year admitted to assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

Jamie Klingler, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, also expressed dismay at the expert’s work, given that Kyrgios has also retweeted social media posts from misogynist Andrew Tate.

Kyrgios admitted assaulting an ex-girlfriend in February last year, but a magistrate in Canberra, Australia, called the incident “a single act of stupidity or frustration” and spared him a criminal record.

However, BBC executives appear to have overlooked the controversy as he will join the Wimbledon team as a pundit unless he defies expectations and regains match fitness.

“The BBC should hang its head in shame over this appointment,” Ms Nokes, a senior Conservative, told Telegraph Sport. “She is a shame and shows the absolute contempt that our national broadcaster has towards women. “Not content with constantly underpaying their own female staff and expelling women once they reach a certain age, they are now bringing on board for Wimbledon a man who admitted to assaulting a woman.”

Ms Klingler added: “It is surprising how quickly we are willing to dismiss violence against women, as long as the man who perpetrates it is good at hitting a ball or a musical note.”

Kyrgios, the most controversial player of the last decade, has played only one match in the last 18 months due to various physical problems, especially in his knee and wrist.

Nick Kyrgios appears in Canberra Magistrates Court on crutches

Kyrgios appeared in the Canberra Magistrates Court last year on crutches – Shutterstock/Mick Tsikas

Despite a recent podcast appearance in which he said he will “be back on the court soon… there’s still a fire in his belly,” Kyrgios would need an extended period of gym work and tennis-specific training to be ready for the tour.

At just 29 years old, Kyrgios began his career as a commentator during the ATP Finals in Turin late last year, then worked for ESPN at the Australian Open in January. He has impressed many with his insight and fluidity behind the microphone, but has divided opinions like few others throughout his playing career. He could be rude, like when he told Stan Wawrinka that “Kokkinakis hit your girlfriend,” or when he threw a chair onto the court during a tantrum.

However, he was also able to play sublime tennis, particularly at Wimbledon, where he reached the final in 2022 before losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

Nick Kyrgios loses the 2022 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic

Kyrgios lost the 2022 Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic – Reuters/Toby Melville

Owner of the most relaxed and explosive service action in the game, Kyrgios’ best results have come on grass, dating back to the moment he defeated Rafael Nadal on Center Court in 2013. He was just 18 years old at the time.

However, that victory turned out to have a downside. He made Kyrgios a celebrity in Australia and created a weight of expectation that he struggled to cope with. For 2019, His mental health had reached such a low point. that he thought about committing suicide. “He was drinking, abusing drugs, I hated the type of person he was,” Kyrgios said in the Netflix documentary series Break Point.

After escaping an assault conviction last year, he issued a statement saying he was grateful to the court for dismissing the charges.

“I was not in a good position when this happened and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way that I deeply regret,” he said. “I know it wasn’t right and I’m truly sorry for the hurt I caused.”

He pushed Chiara Passari to the sidewalk during a fight in Canberra in 2021, the court heard.

The BBC previously replaced John Inverdale as presenter of the Wimbledon highlights show and the move came two years after he was accused of making Sexist comments about women’s champion Marion Bartoli.

The BBC later apologized for the “insensitive” comments and Inverdale remained as a commentator until he left last year.

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