The Association of Tennis Professionals announced Tuesday that it will investigate claims made by American tennis player Donald Young that opponent Ryan Harrison made racist comments to him during their match at the New York Open on Monday.
Young tweeted after the match (which Harrison won) that he was “shocked and disappointed” to hear Harrison, a fellow American, “tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player.”
I’m shocked and disappointed, Ryan Harrison, to hear you tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player in the middle of our NY match. I thought this was supposed to be an inclusive gentleman’s sport.
— Donald Young Jr (@Yimlife1313) February 13, 2018
Harrison promptly responded that Young’s claims were “absolutely untrue.”
The accusations made by Donald Young tonight following our match are absolutely untrue. I’m extremely disappointed that someone would say this in reaction to a lost tennis match. Any video/audio will 100% clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it.
— Ryan Harrison (@ryanharrison92) February 13, 2018
Young and Harrison reportedly got heated during a changeover Monday, leading to the chair umpire stepping between them. After the match (but before Young’s tweet) Harrison had this to say:
“We both started at a very young age on Tour, and we both have a lot pressure and expectations on ourselves for a long time,” Harrison told reporters after the match. “I’ve been very fortunate to have fought through a lot of the adversity, and Donald is trying to fight through the adversity. He’s trying to break back into where he wants to be. At the end of the day, you’re competitors out there. If that happened on a football field, everyone would laugh and say ’15-yard penalty’ and move on. It is what it is. You move forward and you try to take it in stride.
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) February 13, 2018
The ATP said in a statement that it “takes any allegations of racial prejudice extremely seriously,” and will review all video and audio evidence from the match to determine what really happened.
As it happens, Harrison and Young could wind up on the court together quite soon. If Young and Aussie Matthew Ebden win their next doubles match, they will face Harrison and Steve Johnson in the New York Open’s quarterfinal.