Culture

Nick Kyrgios Hits Out At “Racist” Dawn Fraser After Queen’s Birthday Honours

I mean, she did tell him to go back to where he came from.

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Olympic gold medallist Dawn Fraser after she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, describing her on Twitter as “racist”.

Fraser was recognised during this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to sport, having won four Olympic gold medals for swimming between 1956-1964.

“I’m so very grateful that I’m Australian and I’ve been given this honour,” Fraser told Sunrise on Monday morning.

Kyrgios later shared the interview on social media along with a two word message.

His complaint stems from an incident 2015, when Fraser criticised Kyrgios and fellow tennis star Bernard Tomic for their behaviour during that year’s Wimbledon tournament.

“They should be setting a better example for the younger generation of this country, a great country of ours,” she said at the time. “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.”

Kyrgios is of Greek and Malaysian heritage, while Tomic was born in Germany to a Croatian father and Bosnian mother.

Fraser initially defended her comments, insisting that “I’m not a racist person, if you take it that way then I’m sorry that you take it that way, but I’m not racist at all”. She eventually apologised, saying that “my intended message, which was not delivered as articulately as it could have been, was on a purely sporting level rather than meant as an attack on Nick’s ethnicity”.

The swimmer does has some form in this area, however, having previously sung the praises of One Nation leader Pauline Leader. Speaking to the ABC in 1997, Fraser said that “I mean I wish I could be as outspoken, I suppose, as Pauline Hanson and say, ‘look, I’m sick and tired of the immigrants that are coming into my country’.”

Feature image via Nick Kyrgios/Facebook