Big Issues

A German Tennis Player Got A Fan Ejected For Shouting Nazi Shit

If there’s one thing I love in the world, it’s tennis. And when it’s anti-fascist? All the better.


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If there’s one thing I love in the world, it’s tennis. And when it’s anti-fascist? All the better.

Russian-German tennis player Alexander Zverev stopped playing mid-match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner to report a fan yelling Adolf Hitler slogans at the US Open last week. Zverev approached umpire James Keothavong and pointed toward a fan sitting behind the umpire’s chair.

“He [the fan] just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is,” Zverev said. “It’s unacceptable, this is unbelievable.”

“We’re going to get him out,” the umpire assured Zverev before play resumed. During a changeover after Zverev’s exchange with the umpire, the spectator who had shouted the Hitler phrase was identified by spectators sitting close by and escorted out by security.

Zverev triumphed in the match against Sinner, 3-2. (He has since been eliminated by Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.) Speaking to the press post-match, Zverev explained, “He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day. It was ‘Deutschland über alles’ and it was a bit too much.”

According to ABC News, the phrase roughly translates to, “Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world.” The phrase was the beginning lines of the national anthem during the Nazi regime and is widely considered as Hitler’s anthem.

Why would a tennis spectator feel empowered to shout literal Nazi lyrics? Nazism and ultra-conservatism have been on the rise in recent years. Just last year, the Victorian government banned the use of far right symbols to stifle the rise of alt-right movements, and even ASIO has warned the public of increasing attempts at recruitment from neo-Nazi groups.

The far right is on the rise globally, too. More parties on that end of the political spectrum are gaining power and popularity in Italy, Germany, and Spain. In Zverev’s native Germany, Germany’s ultra-nationalist party, the AfD, is quickly becoming Germany’s second most popular party.

Thankfully, folks like Zverev show us exactly what to do when you know someone’s spouting some fascist horseshit. You kick them the hell out.