Opinion: C’mon! How about some courtesy and respect?
SO here’s a question …
Which is worse, a drunken Mitchell Pearce being caught out simulating a disgusting act or Lleyton Hewitt calling a linesman a moron and a f…… cheat on national television in his last singles match before retirement?
Pearce has been rightly vilified; Hewitt was only lauded for his long career.
The NRL certainly has a problem with player behaviour off the field.
But tennis has a bigger one with Australian players’ behaviour on the court.
The difference is that the NRL knows it has a problem while tennis turns a blind eye – in fact seems to condone – what is going on.
The man who is now our Davis Cup captain was as synonymous with abusing umpires and linesmen as he was for his incredible fighting spirit.
No other sport would tolerate such foul-mouthed abuse of match officials.
And the media is almost as much to blame as the administrators.
How could the same voices that rightly criticised Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic for their disgraceful antics be so silent when Hewitt crossed the line?
In two generations we have gone from tennis icons such as Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad and Neale Fraser to prima donnas such as Pat Cash, Mark Philippoussis, Hewitt, Kyrgios and Tomic.
I’ve never been a great Hewitt fan, so I’m glad he’s moved on.
The irony is that he will now be much better value off the court than he was on it for the past 10 years.
Despite his penchant for using American English, he’s quite perceptive as a television commentator and, for all his faults, will bring plenty of experience to the job of guiding our Davis Cup fortunes.