The Roar
The Roar


We are as bad as Tomic and Kyrgios

Bernard Tomic has missed out on qualifying for the Australian Open. (AAP Image/Mark Dadswell)
Roar Pro
18th July, 2015

The Australian public are pretty unlucky to have to put up with the likes of Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios.

While most of us have never met these young men, we are in a great position to judge their characters and tell the world how unacceptable they are as role models.

Of course, as soon as Kyrgios wins his first grand slam all will be forgiven. Because, even though Australians pretend to care about the human quality of our sports stars, we only care if they aren’t winning.

No doubt Kyrgios losing to Aleksandr Nedovyesov in the Davis Cup against Kazakhstan will have Australia fuming. We have probably never seen Nedovysesov play (I haven’t) and we probably have no idea how good he is (I don’t) – but how dare Kyrgios lose to him!

Ironically, our constant criticism of these two potential world-beaters is making it a lot harder for them to deliver on their potential. I wonder if they would be better players if they didn’t feel like everything they did was leading to another barrage of public shaming.

Maybe if we accepted our sports stars for who they are, everyone would be a lot happier. I support the Australian cricket team for instance. And the Carlton Football Club. I don’t spend my nights worrying about how good a bunch of blokes they are.

I assume if I met them they would be friendly enough, like most people. But I also know sportspeople have a tendency to play up, like most people. This does not bother me in the slightest.

In fact, I sometimes wonder if being a good, friendly person prevents you from sporting success, but that’s another conversation.


If you want a role model, I suggest you look outside of elite sport. People who achieve incredible success in any number of fields seem to make more sacrifices, be more driven and have less time than the average person.

It makes no sense to try and make these people relatable because for most of us they aren’t. We aren’t willing to train all day, every day. Or study every night after work.

We aren’t willing to sacrifice close friendships due to a lack of time.

If you must have a sporting role model, go down to your local club and pick a person who is friendly, helps the club committee, coaches the juniors and still manages to look after friends and family.

Someone you know and like.

Let’s stop targeting elite sportspeople for being young and dumb. Let’s instead turn the mirror on ourselves. We criticise Tomic’s and Kyrgios’s complaining and whinging and don’t stop to think that actually we are doing the exact same thing.

Stop the carry on. Stop acting like Kyrgios and Tomic.