Some advice for Nick Kyrgios

I have reached a stage in my life where I am starting to say “when I was a boy” far too often. Things weren’t all that great when I was a boy in the 1940s and 1950s. But there was one thing that I think was better then than it is now.

When I played rugby as a kid, you never spoke to the referee. The captain was allowed to ask him the time but always addressed him as “Sir”. If you were stupid enough to pass a comment in the general direction of referee,  your side was penalised  and marched back 15yds.

Things have changed now, Nick. Players expect the referees to show them respect. And clearly you thought the referee at Wimbledon was not showing you sufficient respect. You have every right to be angry but you should remember that actions speak louder than words.

Nick Kyrgios: not being treated with sufficient respect
Nick Kyrgios: not being treated with sufficient respect

If you don’t like the decisions that are made on the tennis court, withdraw from the tournament. Put your money where your mouth is. And to show them you are serious, don’t turn up next year. That will teach them to show you a bit more respect.

When I was a boy, there was also an outmoded concept that decisions would often go against you (and were often wrong) but that wasn’t the grounds for protest. The idea was that playing sport taught you to deal with the adversity of decisions that you didn’t agree with and were quite possibly wrong and unfair. It was an outmoded idea, but in its time thought to be character-building.

But there you go. That was when I was a boy

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