Professional tennis player Michael Russell resorted to the favored tactic of athletes and celebrities with derogatory comments posted on their Facebook pages, blaming his publicist for a scathing post on the social network that ripped fellow pro Lleyton Hewitt, SI.com reported.
After Hewitt lost Sunday in the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. — which was played on the same day as the semifinals due to rain — the following post (since deleted) appeared on Russell’s Facebook page, as reported by SI.com (unedited):
Lleyton Hewitt – what a douche bag and a racist by the way too. From ATP website: ‘It’s disappointing,’ said Hewitt. ‘If I could’ve had a day off and come back and played the final, I reckon things would’ve been different. All in all it was a good week. Can’t do much about it. I had the tougher side of the draw, with the semi-finals this morning, I paid the price for that.’ Really, so serving at 7-5, 5-4 for the Championship all of a sudden you got tired. How about you just choked and stopped making excuses. I would have loved to see Mahut/Hewitt on the side court 1 at Newport and see how many excuses Lleyton would have made then.
Russell replied in a series of tweets, as reported by SI.com (unedited):
To be 100% clear about recent statements on my Facebook page regarding Lleyton Hewitt, unfortunately, my publicist posted those statements without my knowledge or approval. However, I realize it is my responsibility to monitor each and every statement before being posted on my Facebook page, and I hope Lleyton, my fans, and the tennis community will accept my apologies for any misunderstandings caused by my failure to do so. From here on out, I will monitor my page very carefully, making sure all statements made on it are mine. –Best, Michael
I have personally apologized to Lleyton for the comments made on (Facebook). Anybody who knows me knows I would never say these harsh words. I have the utmost respect for Lleyton as a player, person, husband and father.
Readers: What do you think happened here?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.