Roger Federer recently won the Australian Open, capturing his sixth Australian Open title and 20th grand slam title overall, an impressive feat that only confirms the argument that he is the greatest tennis player of all time. However, it was not only Federer who was causing a stir down under.
26 year old Tennys Sandgren entered the 2018 Australian Open having only won two (that’s right, two) ATP World Tour level matches in his career. Sandgren, who is from Tennessee and played college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, had garnered some attention entering the tournament due to the peculiar name that he says is shared by his great-grandfather.
Sandgren’s inexperience in the win-column did not show in the tournament, as he made an impressive run to the quarterfinals, defeating world-class players such as Stan Wawrinka (Seed 9) and Dominic Thiem (Seed 5). But as Sandgren started to appear in the spotlight, the mainstream media started to do what it does best: cherry-picking minute details and spinning the truth to make someone seem like a terrible person, when in reality, they are not.
Tennys is a self-proclaimed Christian. He also holds views that lean to the right of the political spectrum, but he is no extremist. However, by voicing his political opinions on social media, particularly on Twitter, Sandgren has now become subject to media scrutiny. This is largely due to a tweet that he made in 2012 describing a time when he accidentally wound up in a gay nightclub, saying that it “left his eyes bleeding.”
I won’t try to defend him on this one, as the tweet (which is now deleted) did come across as disrespectful and rude. However, Sandgren did the right thing by tweeting an apology, saying “In regards to the gay club tweet from 2012, I used poor and harsh words to describe a bad experience, and is not indicative of how I feel about the people in that community. To everyone I offended with that, pls accept my apology.”
This does not make Sandgren alt-right. His choice of words was wrong, but one simple online mistake does not define his character. The real problem here was the leftist media’s reaction to this, along with other tweets that are actually quite harmless. For example, following Trump’s election in 2016, he tweeted a repetition of the phrase “MAGA.” Yet upon seeing this tweet, sports writer Oliver Brown tweeted, “Was starting to think Tennys Sandgren reaching Australian Open quarterfinals was rather a lovely story. Then I saw that this was how he marked Trump’s election victory.”
Sandgren responded to these attacks during his press conference following his quarterfinal exit at the Australian Open. He ripped the media by saying that his fate has been sealed in their minds because of just a handful of follows and likes on Twitter from a variety of perspectives.
This whole story exemplifies the closed-mindedness that the media tends to have, especially towards celebrities who hold views different than those accepted by the left. It is not only Tennys Sandgren who has become victimized by “fake news.” Celebrities like Tim Allen, Taylor Swift, and Kid Rock have all been shunned and scolded by the Left for their right-leaning beliefs or for declining to comment on every political issue.
For the sake of avoiding hypocrisy, I will mention the Colin Kaepernick issue. It is not the fact that he is a liberal that I and many conservatives scold him, rather the fact that he brings politics into something that is meant to be apolitical. Standing for the national anthem is something that is supposed to serve as a reminder that ALL Americans are united and equal, which is especially important during this time of political turmoil and divisiveness. I could care less about Colin Kaepernick’s beliefs.
If Kaepernick left the politics out of football and was a great football player, which he is not, I would probably respect him. The fact of the matter is that Kaepernick, like many other liberal celebrities, use their fame to promote their agenda in cases where politics should be left out.
The Tennys Sandgren case is different. He doesn’t use his status as a professional athlete to promote his agenda. He has only ever alluded to his political identity in tennis during his quarter final press conference only after days of scrutiny regarding his beliefs.
I am a fan of Tennys Sandgren. He is not alt-right. The leftist media however, cannot stand when a celebrity does not support their hard-line political agenda.
And for the off chance that Sandgren ever reads this: Keep doing what you’re doing Tennys. You’re a great player, a great guy, and bright future ahead of you.