Give Bernie a break, he’s just being honest

Hugh McDonald Roar Rookie

By Hugh McDonald, Hugh McDonald is a Roar Rookie

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48 Have your say

    Accountant, doctor, athlete. All different jobs. For Bernard Tomic, tennis is exactly that.

    He’s supremely talented, could be one of the greatest, but he has openly admitted to not enjoying his job. Just like millions of others across the globe. So why the backlash?

    Australia is a sport-obsessed nation. The morale of the country can be greatly impacted by Australia’s sporting successes or lack thereof. During the Great Depression, Australians clung to Don Bradman and his heroics to ease them through despair.

    After Australia II famously won the America’s Cup in 1983, our then Prime Minister Bob Hawke stated “Any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum.”

    We love to see athletes represent this country with passion and determination. It’s why so many of us are disappointed, angry and frustrated by the performances of Tomic.

    Many of us have studied at high school and university for years to develop skills that allow us to work in a certain profession. This can often involve studying an area that we don’t so much enjoy, but instead an area in which our talents and strengths are best suited.

    It’s the same for athletes.

    They too may be training for a sport they aren’t passionate about, but merely what their talents and strengths are best suited to.

    Bernie Tomic is a talented tennis player, that’s his skill. He’s trained for years and by all reports was pushed hard by his father. At a young age he started his first job, professional tennis.

    Bernard Tomic mid swing

    (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    For all the talent he possesses, he’s admitted he couldn’t care less, and maybe he really doesn’t.

    But you can’t be disappointed for Tomic not representing Australia correctly. Bernie, unless in Davis Cup, isn’t representing Australia. He’s representing Tomic Inc.

    He’s the boss, the employer, he’s in charge. It’s his business, his job! Be frustrated all you like that a young man is wasting incredible potential, but don’t get angry at him for letting down his country, he’s there representing himself.

    Now don’t get me wrong, if a player in a national team, was saying they were bored and didn’t want to be there. Rip in. All guns blazing. We as Australian’s have every right to be angry that someone who has been picked to represent us, our great country, isn’t going about that honour correctly. But Bernie isn’t, he’s just carrying out his own business.

    And then when he opens up to the press that he doesn’t enjoy what he does, that he’s bored, we jump down his throat? He can do and say what he likes.

    And while we’re on that note, a professional athlete is finally open and candid with the press and we get angry? Probably only moments after ridiculing rugby league players for being too cliché “Gave 110%” “Boys dug deep” “So proud of the boys”, we are now ripping into someone who has been honest! Give me a spell.

    When rugby league and AFL players sign multi-million dollar contracts with rival clubs, we understand that these players need to make as much money as they can while their talents still allow them to.

    But when Bernie Tomic comes out and tells us he’s only playing to earn as much cash as he can, it’s treated as treason. Let’s not forget it’s just his job.

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (48)

    • July 6th 2017 @ 9:57am
      northerner said | July 6th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      I agree that Bernie doesn’t represent Australia, or anything or anyone but himself. It does get my back up a bit when he can’t be bothered to put in an effort – it’s disrespecting the game, the opponent, and of course the people paying the bills – the spectators and the media. I doubt his sponsors will be any too happy, either.

    • July 6th 2017 @ 10:37am
      RBBAnonymous said | July 6th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      If Bernie wants to continue his career in tennis the best thing he can do is walk away for a while, pick up a shovel and start digging trenches or roads for a period of time. I know the circuit can be a grind sometimes but Jesus, you are playing tennis for a living. The operative word being “PLAYING”. There are a lot tougher and harder things you could be doing with your life Bernie, if you don’t want to PLAY tennis then how will you be able to do real work. The apathy of the man is outstanding. You have the talent, do yourself and the sport some justice and give it your best effort. Because 99% of people would kill to be in your position.

      • July 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        Carl said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        David Ferrer did some construction work and bricklaying for a period of time. He said it was much harder work than training and playing tennis. He has a degree in optometry, very good player, great person.

        Bernie can do what he likes. It was good that he was honest about it. The fans and other people involved in tennis would not be happy though. He needs a break from the game. Do something else with his time, and see whether that’s what he wants to do in life.

        Tennis at the moment seems a burden to him.

    • Roar Guru

      July 6th 2017 @ 11:17am
      Mango Jack said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      Why the backlash? Spectators and pay-TV viewers pay to watch professional athletes perform at the highest level, i.e, try their hardest each time they step on court. Doesn’t he at least have an obligation to them, who are ultimately paying his wages? Then there are the sponsors who hand over large sums for him to represent them in the best possible light. He’s hardly doing that, is he?

      I get your point about honesty, but if he wants to be considered genuine, he must stop accepting money from sponsors and match fees funded by spectators, and walk away from the professional game until he sorts out his priorities.

      • July 6th 2017 @ 11:50am
        Paul2 said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        “Then there are the sponsors who hand over large sums for him to represent them in the best possible light. He’s hardly doing that, is he?”

        Forgive me if I don’t lose sleep over Adidas (or whoever) not getting great bang for the buck they’ve paid to Bernard Tomic.

        • Roar Guru

          July 6th 2017 @ 12:22pm
          Mango Jack said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          I won’t loose any sleep either, but their corporate ethical standards or whatever should not absolve Tomic from not honouring his obligations to them.

        • July 7th 2017 @ 8:46am
          Bakkies said | July 7th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          He has already lost his racquet sponsor so he will now have to pay to get for his own bag and racquets.

    • Roar Guru

      July 6th 2017 @ 11:28am
      Anindya Dutta said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      Lets look at this as you suggest Hugh. Let me build this scenario. Each one of us has a job that we perhaps don’t always enjoy. Or ever. But we have the job presumably because we are good enough to be employed in it and someone else is not. Hence we get paid for doing that job, by an organization. Lets say that organization is an insurance company. Where does the company get the money to pay us? Simplistically, lets say its from their customers who buy insurance – you and me. Now lets say the people who get paid by the organization, lets call them Bernie and Nick (who bear no resemblance to any Tennis player living or dead )for a moment, go to the press every other day to announce how utterly disinterested they are in their jobs and are only doing it for the money. Why would you and I buy insurance from a company that employs such disinterested people, no matter how skilled they purportedly are?

      Now lets for a moment assume that Bernie and Nick have two brothers called Tomic and Kyrgios who play tennis and behave exactly the same way. Why should the paying public be asked to pay moeny to see Tennis and come and be forced to watch a farce?

      So lets not delude ourselves. These guys are brats and a disgrace to their profession. Citing their talent all the time to justify their continued brattiness (yeah yeah I know I just made that up) is as bad as forgiving a lazy incompetent insurance agent by citing their 140+ IQ. Nothing more and nothing else.

      • July 6th 2017 @ 11:42am
        Paul2 said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        “Why should the paying public be asked to pay moeny to see Tennis and come and be forced to watch a farce?”

        Then don’t watch Tomic play. Jesus, no-one’s forcing you to. There are plenty of other players whose attitudes meet your requirements – limit yourself to them. If Tomic’s performances are that bad, then he won’t be on the pro-tour much longer anyway.

        • Roar Guru

          July 6th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          Anindya Dutta said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          When you buy tickets to a grand slam you expect to see professionals play. You don’t choose who you watch. Thats the sad reality. So the money is gone when Tomic shows up (briefly) on court.

        • July 7th 2017 @ 8:45am
          Bakkies said | July 7th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

          If you get a ticket to Centre Court at Wimbledon you often don’t get a choice in which players you get to watch as it is done by ballot.

          ‘When you buy tickets to a grand slam you expect to see professionals play. You don’t choose who you watch. ‘

          Yep it’s often sold by sessions for the big courts which is only known a day in advance in Australia and often less with the other majors, It’s unlike getting a ground pass or watching it on the hill where you can pick and choose which match you get to watch.

    • July 6th 2017 @ 11:39am
      Paul2 said | July 6th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

      Well said, Hugh. This is whole story has been massively overdone. All he said is that he’s struggling with interest and motivation, but that he’ll keep doing it since it’s how he earns a living. Big f&*#ing deal.

      I’ve always thought the guy was a bit of a flog, but I really don’t see why I should be up in arms over a bit of honesty shown in a press conference.

      • July 6th 2017 @ 12:06pm
        Nick said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Agree. Although it is a pity for the people who pay to go watch a competitive tennis match.

        • July 6th 2017 @ 12:15pm
          Paul2 said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

          Fair point. Still, buyer beware, I suppose. Some matches will be less intense than others – spectators should know that going into it.

      • Roar Guru

        July 6th 2017 @ 12:29pm
        Mango Jack said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

        Some people are up in arms, true, and the comments can be out of proportion, but I still believe Tomic has left himself open to criticism by continuing to accept money from fans and sponsors and publicly saying he doesn’t give a stuff about delivering on it. If he walks away, fine, but stop taking the money for not doing your job.

    • July 6th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      Johnno said | July 6th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      Let’s get real he’s a failure, no grand slams and about to turn 25, he’s just a tennis journeyman status e.g. Waly Masur. He’s not a Federer or a Nadal or Sampras. He’s not even a Becker or Lendl. The guy’s best effort is only a Q/F at wimbledon. Guys like Federer had been world no 1 and won many grand slam titles by age 25 what’s Bernie won on the ev of his 25th birthday nothing. And he whinges about tennis, when he’s a nobody in tennis, yet he’s mad millions from it. Hewitt had achieved far more than Tomic had done at the same age same with Laver etc. He’s just a tennis journeyman like Wally Masur/Wayne Arthurs that’s where Tomic is at. Start winning some grand slams and getting in the top 10 or world no 1, you dud yet you as just a tennis journeyman have the nerve to talk like that, your career has been a failure Bernie and you know it.

      • July 6th 2017 @ 1:09pm
        Journeyman said | July 6th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        nothing wrong with being a journeyman

      • July 6th 2017 @ 2:05pm
        Paul2 said | July 6th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

        Making it a QF at Wimbledon is more than I’ve done. Dare I say it, it’s more than Johnno’s done too.

        • July 6th 2017 @ 2:51pm
          Bring Back...? said | July 6th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

          How does he qualify as being supremely talented and potentially one of the greatest? What a load of rot.

          And, yes, he’s made a quarter final at Wimbledon which would be better than all (?) on this thread, but there are a hell of a lot of valuable things people on this thread have done which Tomic hasn’t or couldn’t do.

          I have no problem with him owning up to the fact he’s bored but I do find his admission to disrespecting the sport reflects who he truly is.

          I had understood umpires could call a player out for “tanking” which is exactly what he did the other night. He should be suspended from the tour.

          • July 7th 2017 @ 4:57pm
            Bakkies said | July 7th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

            He was a junior champion at one of the majors he probably would have been up against the likes of Raonic and Dimitrov in those ranks

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