When asked to comment on Nick Kyrgios’ “tanking” allegations at 2015 Wimbledon, Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser issued a strong rebuke, stating he should “go back” to where his “parents came from.”
Fraser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, made the controversial remarks during her appearance on Channel 9’s The Today Show. She said Kyrgios' actions during his loss to Frenchman Richard Gasquet were absolutely “shocking and disgusting.”
“It's absolutely disgusting. I am so shocked to think that he went out there to play and he tanked... that’s terrible,” the 77-year-old said.
She went on to say if Kyrgios does not like the way things are done in Australia, he better go back to where his forefathers came from instead of setting a poor example for the upcoming generation.
“They should be setting a better example for the younger generation of this country, a great country of ours,” Fraser continued. “If they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or their parents came from. We don’t need them here in this country if they act like that.”
Fraser’s comments have, predictably, set off a Twitter backlash.
Have any Aboriginal people told Dawn Fraser to go back to where her people are from? If not, I volunteer as tribute— WeAreSydney/EbS! (@WeAreSydney) July 7, 2015
Dawn Fraser is to racism as Margret Court is to Homophobia: Old and out of touch. More nostalgic montages less interviews please.— Hannah Gadsby (@Hannahgadsby) July 7, 2015
Today, Dawn Fraser is ALL of our secretly racist old aunties at the family bbq getting political after too many West Coast Coolers— Kate Iselin (@kateiselin) July 7, 2015
To #NickKyrgios You are home. Dawn Fraser with her colonial attitude can exit at anytime home to her country. Rgds Sovereign women— Arabella Douglas (@arabella_ya) July 7, 2015
The Dawn Fraser comments not a surprise and inevitable in current climate, where our politicians pander to racists and bigots for votes.— Francis Awaritefe (@FrancisAwartefe) July 7, 2015
Kyrgios was born in Canberra and has Greek and Malaysian-born parents.
In a society where discrimination has always been present, the question here arises whether Frasers’ comments about Kyrgios are but a glimpse of the prevailing racism.
Kygios responded to Fraser’s comments by calling her a “blatant racist” on his Facebook page: