Why are so many people defending Bernard Tomic after what happened at the first round of the Wimbledon Championship in 2017?

I haven’t actually seen anyone defending Tomic, but I can see why they might be.

Everyone expects professional sportsman to be the epitome of professionalism, and love every second of what they do; it is almost blasphemous for them to suggest they don’t enjoy their sport.

However, how many people go to work every day to do a job they love? Very few. Tomic, presumably, enjoyed tennis as a child, when it was just for fun. He’s lucky enough to be making a very good living from playing tennis, but if he can live comfortably by making the 1st or 2nd round of Grand Slams, and doing reasonably in minor tournaments, without being overly dedicated to a sport for which he has no love, I struggle to find too much fault with that.

With regards to admitting to calling the trainer when he wasn’t injured, this is a little tricker. Plenty of players have done this in the past (Djokovic, at a point, seemed all too often to call the trainer when his opponent was outplaying him, and return from the break with the momentum broken), but to straight up admit to it was foolish. On the other hand, it shows more moral fibre than inventing a fictitious injury, so perhaps it has some merit.

Tennis has changed.

I assume that the many(?) people who are defending Tomic use the following argument: He is already a well-established player, had great success as a junior, likes to be honest, and simply succumbed to pressure throughout the career. However, imagine a scenario in which a relatively unknown player outside the top 500 made the same remarks as Tomic did. We would immediately classify him as arrogant and unfit to be a professional tennis player. In fact, many people will chastise him by targeting his low ranking.

Back in old days, only the top 20–30 tennis players in the world could make a decent living. A low-ranked player would struggle to make ends meet. No one would publicly say he was “bored” during a match since he was more concerned about winning. Nowadays, tennis has grown so big that the top 200 players in the world can live comfortably.

However, this growth has sparked complacency and diminished the player’s responsibilities. As a professional tennis player, you are playing more than yourself. You are playing for your coaching team, for your family, for your sponsors, for your fans, for your country, for future tennis stars, and for glory. Tomic’s comments are simply an insult to the game of tennis and to those who believed and supported him.

You know I honestly don’t understand why anyone could defend his actions. I mean i get it, he’s young and we all make mistakes, but come on. This is a guy who has a history of just being a child for lack of a better word. In regards to wimbledon you can’t make comments like “I was bored down there” and “I can’t find motivation” and expect to gain new fans.

It’s a real shame too, because this is someone who is not lacking in talent whatsoever, but for whatever reason he just seems content on wasting it. I hope he gets it together I really do. At the end of the day it doesn’t help anyone if he gets himself kicked out of the men’s tour for his flaming stupidity. If anything we as the fans become the victims because we are robbed of the chance to see someone who is obviously incredibly talented. In that regard I can maybe sorta see why people are defending him, but in my opinion what he needs is not coddling or babying, but some harsh love from someone close to him (a few backhands should do the trick).

Who knows maybe he will change for the best after he realizes that his attitude is doing nothing but robbing him of the money he’s admitted to loving so much and robbing the fans of the opportunity to witness someone who is incredibly good at what he does. Although the way his career has evolved leads me to believe that this is sadly nothing more than wishful thinking.

Hopefully I’m wrong.

Bibliography

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No one can defend faking an injury. Now, his blunt statements about boredom is another thing. For my part, go for it. If the guy is bored, say it. I am not sure who will sponsor him going forward. Marijuana Growers Association? The Petulant Teenagers Association? Now, if he can squirrel away the money, you have to give him credit for setting himself up for retirement…then he can get bored on the sofa, eating Cheetos, drinking beer and watching Keeping Up the Kardashians.

Are many people defending him? I haven’t heard any, but I did hear a lot of rightful criticism of his attitude. I can see how life on the tour might be difficult, being away from home a lot, which might make it hard to remember why you started playing tennis, but the fact of it all is that people in the stands pay money to see a tennis match between players who at least try.

Tomic isn’t the first player to call on the trainer for other reasons than an injury. Doing so is gamesmanship. Tomic probably is the first who so blatantly admits that that’s what he did. And he didn’t simply do it because he could not find his way in the match (which happens and is natural), but because he felt bored about playing a match at what many consider the greatest tennis tournament in the world.