Tennis doubles competitor Mike Bryan has received an £8,222 fine from the US Tennis Association following a highly insensitive gesture performed with his racket.
The incident occurred during Bryan’s second round doubles victory over Federico Delbonis and Roberto Carballés Baena at the US Open.
Bryan, who plays doubles with his identical twin brother Bob, turned his racket upside down to imitate a firearm and pointed it at both a line judge and the chair umpire Mariana Alves, after successfully challenging a call the officials had made.
The 41-year-old received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for his antics, something at the time he appeared to be surprised about.
“Just tell me what I did real quick? What was the gesture,” the American queried.
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Alves responded, stating that the gesture was inappropriate.
“The gesture that you did. You did it to the line umpire and did it to me.
“You did with your racket like it was a gun. I don’t think that was appropriate.”
Bryan’s gesture was grossly mistimed given the tragic events of Saturday afternoon when seven people were killed in Texas, the latest of a number of mass shootings to occur in the US.
The £8,222 fine is the highest that has been given out at this year’s US Open on the men’s side, with Brendan McIntyre, a spokesman for the US Tennis Association, stating that: “We thought it warranted that amount.”
Following the match, Bryan apologised for the gesture and insisted that it was never intended to cause offence.
“I apologise for any offence I may have caused. We won the point and the gesture was meant to be playful,” the American began. “But given the recent news and political climate I understand how my gesture could be viewed as insensitive.
“I promise that I will never do anything like this again.”News Now - Sport News