Ryan Harrison Accused Of Racism By Fellow Player At The New York Open
The inaugural New York Open has been hit by controversy after claims that Ryan Harrison said a racist comment towards Donald Young during his 6-3, 7-6(4) win in the first round.
25-year-old Harrison was playing Young on Monday evening. During one stage of the match both players argued during one of the changeovers and the umpire was forced to step in. It is unclear as to what they said to each other as the microphone failed to pick up the exchange. It wasn’t until after that match that Young alleged that he was racially abused. Something that some members of the crowd also claimed.
“I’m shocked and disappointed, Ryan Harrison, to hear you tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player in the middle of our NY match. I thought this was supposed to be an inclusive gentleman’s sport.” The American wrote on Twitter.
World No.44 Harrison dismissed the allegation by asking for proof. Like Young, he also took to social media to address the confrontation between the two. It is also unknown as to what racial term he is alleged to have said.
“The accusations made by Donald Young tonight following our match are absolutely untrue. I’m extremely disappointed that someone would say this in reaction to a lost tennis match.” He said.
“Any video/audio will 100% clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it.”
The courtside audio is all but non-existent, but looks pretty hostile at the new New York Open between Ryan Harrison and Donald Young. pic.twitter.com/qYH3n8C3dB
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) 13 February 2018
After that match, the sixth seed was the only player of the two to speak with reporters. He tried to diffuse the situation further when he argued that if the exact same scenario occurred on a football field, there would be no debate.
“If that happened on a football field, everyone would laugh and say, ’15-yard penalty” and move on. You move forward and try to take it in stride.” He said, according to the Shreveport Times.
“At the end of the day, you see everybody, you like everybody and you want to be friends and friendly with everybody, but everybody out here I compete against, even the ones I like, they are the ones trying to take away my livelihood.
“I have to do what I can to get through, and I was proud of myself for doing that.”
There has been no comment from the ATP concerning the matter. Harrison is set to play Ivo Karlovic in the second round.
There is a possibility that the two could face each other later against this week in the men’s doubles competition. For that to happen, both must make it to the second round.