Bernard Tomic made headlines some days back, telling reporters he would go home to count his millions after losing to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets and thus losing out on a chance to play at his home Grand Slam, the Australian Open, for the first time since 2008.
His comments did not go down well with the tennis fraternity or the general public. Former Grand Slam winner Andy Roddick led the barrage of criticism aimed at Tomic, using twitter to remind him of the millions he had left behind.
Tomic is no stranger to controversy having faced criticisms for his comments earlier as well. You may remember him being in the news during Wimbledon last year after losing to Mischa Zverev, stating that he was bored and had feigned injury. He was rightly fined for that incident. Being unprofessional has no place in the world of sport and anyone who does not adhere to professional standards of playing deserves to be reprimanded.
But was Tomic unprofessional this time around? Granted that he was rude and sarcastic to the media but did that really warrant the outrage that followed? I think probably not. People were more incensed that such thoughts existed in his head and none of them were concerned about his attitude with the media. It had more to do with his thought process and apparent lack of effort.
This incident is a classic example of how people are quick to judge players who do not adhere to the supposed norms of sport morality (not professionalism, mind you, there is a difference). Our society has been shaped in such a way that players who are outspoken are immediately outcast and considered not good enough for the sport. We do not make efforts to understand the other perspective and simply jump on the bandwagon because it sounded outrageous.
A player might feel differently about a sport than what others expect him to, but judging him for that is just plain wrong, in my opinion. The assumption that a person has to love what he does at all costs is ridiculous and hypocritical to say the least. So what if he does not feel the desire to play anymore or has lost the motivation to do so. It is his career and he solely should decide what he wants to do with it.
Using a social media platform to berate someone who may not feel the same about something as you do is just lack of respect and tolerance for others’ opinions. Just because he is a celebrity does not make him any less of a human being and he is entitled to think what he wants.
After all, he is not affecting anyone else’s lives. It is his own career and he must face the consequences of his decisions. The Tennis Federation might still fine him for not following the ethics of conduct and that might be justified. Not agreeing with everyone else's point of view and being angry are basic human traits. But let us at least be angry and outraged for the right reasons.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the views of Sportskeeda.