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John Isner faces criticism for comments on Black Lives Matter and Covid-19

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: July 2, 2020 12:36:43 pm

John Isner (L) said in the end that the bottom line is that the Atlanta event will have safety precautions in place. (File Photo/AP)

American tennis player John Isner faced criticism on social media for building up an upcoming tennis competition and then equating the event to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement when warned about the possible health hazard.

Isner tweeted about the DraftKings All-American Team Cup on Wednesday night, an event to be played in Atlanta from Saturday, with 450 spectators allowed inside. The stands are to be filled to no more than one-third capacity, as event organizers take lessons from the doomed Adria Tour in Europe last month.

Top tennis players from the USA like John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Sam Querrey, Tennys Sangren, Steve Johnson, Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe will be taking part.

Isner, ranked No. 21 in the world, reacted to a comment warning him of Covid-19 guidelines, by saying: “You coronabros can stay in your basement all you want. I choose to live my life and play/promote the sport I love in a safe manner.”

Isner received more backlash after this tweet, with fans accusing him of not taking the pandemic seriously enough. To this, the 35-year-old reacted by raising the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, asking if those who are against the tennis tournament also condemned the gathering of people on that social issue. He had previously referred to the BLM protesters as ‘anarchist losers’.

There was more criticism for him after this, as fans asked how he could equate a tennis tournament to a social movement. Isner continued to reply to comments in his criticism, finally conceding: “It’s def not a joke. This event in Atlanta will be safe. That’s the bottom line.”

READ | After 11 hours, Isner wins longest match ever

Isner also got into a ‘disagreement’ with tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg, reacting to his comment on the dangers of a public exhibition on the weekend by telling him to read entire articles before sharing them.

USA continues to be one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. John Isner, now 35, continues to be a polarizing figure in the world of tennis.

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