American veteran Michael Russell got himself into some social media hot water yesterday. Hours after losing in the Newport semifinals to eventual champion Nicolas Mahut, a post went up on Russell’s facebook page taking aim at Lleyton Hewitt who had lost in the men’s final to the Frenchman:
Lleyton Hewitt – what a douche bag and a racist by the way too. From ATP website: It’s disappointing,” said Hewitt. “If I could’ve had a day off and come back and played the final, I reckon things would’ve been different. All in all it was a good week. Can’t do much about it. I had the tougher side of the draw, with the semi-finals this morning, I paid the price for that.” Really, so serving at 7-5, 5-4 for the Championship all of a sudden you got tired. How about you just choked and stopped making excuses. I would have loved to see Mahut/Hewitt on the side court 1 at Newport and see how many excuses Lleyton would have made then.
The post has since been removed and in a series of twitter tweets the 35-year-old has apologized stating that his publicist posted the remark without his approval.
“Recent Facebook posts & comments were not approved by me as I am not the one managing my Facebook page!” he tweeted yesterday. “I ONLY use twitter linked to my Facebook account. I NEVER post directly on Facebook if that answers anybody’s doubts! Good night all”.
And this morning Russell continued to clarify.
“To be 100% clear about recent statements on my Facebook page regarding Lleyton Hewitt, unfortunately, my publicist posted those statements,” he wrote less than an hour ago, “without my knowledge or approval. However, I realize it is my responsibility to monitor each and every statement before being posted on my
“my Facebook page, and I hope Lleyton, my fans, and the tennis community will accept my apologies for any misunderstandings caused by my
“my failure to do so. From here on out, I will monitor my page very carefully, making sure all statements made on it are mine. –Best, Michael”
Regardless of who actually wrote the original facebook post – a hack, a publicist, a friend or a family member upset with Hewitt – social media can be an asset for pro athletes but can also be equally dangerous.
After his Newport semifinal, Russell climbed 14 spots in the new ATP rankings to No. 81.
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