DAWN FRASER ‘ I’M NO RACIST’
OLYMPIAN Dawn Fraser has issued a public apology for her nationally televised tirade against outspoken Australian tennis stars Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios as her comments were attacked by the national Race Discrimination Commissioner.
The iconic Australian swimming star was yesterday branded a racist after she told Channel 9’ s Today the two should “go back where their parents came from” in an apparent reference to their ongoing feud with Tennis Australia.
“They should be setting a better example for the younger generation of this country, a great country of ours,” she said.
“If they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or their parents came from. We don’t need them here in this country if they act like that.”
The comments attracted widespread criticism on social media websites yesterday and from Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane.
“I was saddened and disappointed to hear Dawn Fraser’s comments,’’ Dr Soutphommasane said.
“She’s such a wellliked and well- respected national figure and really setting a bad example through her comments.”
Kyrgios yesterday took to Twitter to call Fraser a “blatant racist, Australian legend’’ while his mother called it a “nasty racist attack’’.
In a statement issued by her management late yesterday, Fraser said she wanted to “unreservedly apologise’’ for any offence caused.
She said the live- to- air clip was part of a larger interview.
“My intended message, which was not delivered as articulately as it could have been, was on a purely sporting level rather than meant as an attack on Nick’s ethnicity,” the statement said.
If they don’t like it, go back where their parents came
from. DAWN FRASER’S COMMENTS
ON CHANNEL 9’ S TODAY
RACE ROW: Dawn Fraser at the Australian Open this year and ( right) Nick Kyrgios takes a break before being beaten at Wimbledon.