24 May 2024

BBC slammed for hiring Nick Kyrgios as Wimbledon commentator

4:27 pm on 24 May 2024
Australia's Nick Kyrgios speaks during a press conference on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 16, 2023. - Kyrgios pulled out of the Australian Open on January 16 without hitting a ball because of a knee injury, saying he was "devastated". (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --

Nick Kyrgios at a press conference on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on 16 January, 2023. Photo: AFP

The BBC has come under fire for hiring Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios as a commentator for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament due to his history of violence against women.

Kyrgios pleaded guilty to assaulting former girlfriend Chiara Passari in 2021, however those charges were dismissed.

Kyrgios is also known to support Andrew Tate, who is currently facing rape and human trafficking charges in Romania.

The BBC has confirmed Kyrgios will join their team of commentators under the assumption he will not be playing due to injury.

British MP Caroline Nokes told the Telegraph the BBC should hang their head in shame over the appointment.

"It's a disgrace and shows the utter contempt our national broadcaster has towards women," she told the publication.

"Not content with consistently underpaying their own female staff and forcing out women once they hit a certain age, they now bring a man who admitted assaulting a woman on board for Wimbledon."

A number of women's advocates have expressed their distaste for the appointment.

Nick Kyrgios in action at the U.S. Tennis Open in New York.

Nick Kyrgios in action at the U.S. Tennis Open in New York. Photo: Photosport

Jamie Klingler, co-founder of UK social justice group Reclaim These Streets, told RN Breakfast there were millions of better-qualified people to commentate Wimbledon.

"Instead of doing that, they're going for lowest common denominators for what they consider the newest bad boy of tennis," she said.

"Well, if the bad boy of tennis has to include beating up women, I don't want them on my screens, I don't want them in the country."

She criticised the taxpayer-funded channel for "excusing sexism" by allowing Kyrgios on the show.

"We seem to have a wide gap between treating violence against women the way it should be treated when a man can hit either a ball or a musical note," she said.

Klingler said she and other social groups had reached out to the BBC for comment. The broadcaster said they would respond in 12 days.

BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore announced Kyrgios would be joining a line-up including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Pat Cash, Tim Henman, Tracy Austin, Annabel Croft and Johanna Konta.

"And also joining the line-up this year will be 2021 champion Ash Barty and, if he's not playing, the 2022 - Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios - anything could happen there," she said.

Kyrgios recently did commentary at the Australian Open for ESPN.


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