Michael Russell Says He Didn’t Approve Facebook Rant Against “Douche Bag” Lleyton Hewitt, But Takes Reponsibilty
by Tom Gainey | July 15th, 2013, 9:31 am
  • 28 Comments

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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28 Comments for Michael Russell Says He Didn’t Approve Facebook Rant Against “Douche Bag” Lleyton Hewitt, But Takes Reponsibilty

Thomas Says:

I don’t care how bad of a publicist you are, no publicist makes an error THAT bad. Russell should just admit what he did and move on.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Russell wasn’t wrong, racist is the name for the people who don’t turn up for a wedding of their doughter/sister because she is getting married to an Australian of Lebanese origin. That is what Lleyton and his parents did.

http://womansday.ninemsn.com.au/celebrityheadlines/8287637/leytons-sisters-sorrow-hewitt-family-feud


RZ Says:

Not sure why he (or his supposed publicist) is all riled up about what Lleyton said, which was not exactly controversial stuff.


skeezer Says:

MR has a publicist? LOL, that must have been his other hand.


Colin Says:

Didn’t Hewitt once make an unfortunate remark about a black line-judge?


Kimberly Says:

skeezer Says:
MR has a publicist? LOL, that must have been his other hand.

Exactly my thoughts!


tenisListo Says:

Why is it that the U.S. men’s players are always making fools of themselves and demonstrating poor sportsmanship. I thought with the retirement of Andy Roddick everything would improve, but I see that the U.S. reputation has sunk even lower. A 35 year old man should have more control of his life, especially his Facebook account. No excuses. What a shame.


SG1 Says:

LOL. Agree with Skeezer. Why does Michael Russell even have a publicist. Hysterical…and sad all at the same time.


Brando Says:

This whole episode is a epic LOL. At least Russell has now done something folks will remember him by. if you can’t make a name for yourself on court: go viral! Kudos to you Russ- look forward to the next post from your ‘publicist’!


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

As the saying goes if you cant be famous be infamous.


James Says:

“I ONLY use twitter linked to my Facebook account. I NEVER post directly on Facebook…”

LOL just man up, man.


Humble Rafa Says:

Doesn’t everybody have a PR person?

I checked with my dog, and she has one.


dari Says:

I think you’re afraid of dogs, Humble, and the dark, check your bio.

This is hilarious, and a poor cover up

Sorry wrong place but stoked fed is back on court this week. And with a old school pro-staff looking racket!


Okiegal Says:

@Humble Rafa

You have a dog????? You don’t like dogs, remember?? According to your book, you say you are afraid of dogs. LOL

I too am afraid of dogs after getting bit by one when a small child…..I hate them,actually.

Back to the thread, MR needs to own it and get on with his bad self, IMHO.


Okiegal Says:

@Dari

You got your post on before me……..funny. If I would have waited a tad longer I could have saved some wear and tear on my fingers!! LOL

Maybe we got our points across, however. Big Rafa fan here and like old Humble also!!!!


RZ Says:

Humble Rafa, does your Uncle Toni have a publicist? Because based on this article, I think he might need one. (Just not the one that MR has). http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/07/uncle-toni-i-talk-rafa-during-matches/48355/#.UeRyHm3veKE


grendel Says:

form RZ’s link, Uncle Toni says:”“In the tennis world, those who are mentally stronger, are also technically stronger.”

That’s an intriguing comment. Wish he could have fleshed it out a little. For instance, is he saying there is a causal link between mental and technical strength,and if so, which is cause and which is effect? That’s not a trivial point. People who tend to downplay the mental side will be inclined to think that it is the technical strength which is causal.

But there is another possibility, too. You could have a kind of spiralling situation, wherein a strong mind is productive of attention to technical detail, the absorption of which further strengthens the mind which in turn makes possible extended technical learning, which then………


RZ Says:

Grendel, I was intrigued by that comment too. I think his overall point is that if you stay mentally strong, your form remains strong too. If you start to falter mentally, you’re more likely to rush and play sloppy.


Humble Rafa Says:

Uncle Toni: ‘I talk to Rafa during matches’

Usual business. Nothing to see here. Move on.


rob Says:

So lets name his publicist


Rob Says:

Only douche here is the publicist – should be named to clear Russell. Always laugh when Americans call Australians racist – half the US went to war to keep slavery and racism. That would have been unthinkable in Aus.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

^^^

Aren’t we missing something here? Until 1967 Aboriginals were considered subhuman and they didn’t have the right to vote. Is that racism? No, it can’t be, it’s Australia.


skeezer Says:

Humble Rafa,

Why are you not addressing your fear of Dogs? Apparently you have no problem accusing others of having Cats.

“Paradox”


James Says:

@Bad Knee Rules, not only were Aboriginals considered subhuman, the Aus Government also tried to make Oz a white nation. Any white person who went to Oz could become a citizen simply because he/she is White!
I’m sure, you’re aware of your country history, @Rob? Know why former PM Kevin Rudd on behalf of the the great Oz Government made a public apology to the Aboroginals? The stolen generation? I’m not saying Aussies are more racist than Americans. But racism is racism whether it’s in the US, Australia, Asia or Africa. It sucks! Just don’t be a part of it!
And yeah next time before you bring up American slavery thing, do take your time to think about the stolen generation Down Under.


Colin Says:

I sometimes visit the Australian site Sportal, and the comments on the forum often make me wonder if I’ve stumbled into a Southern USA white supremacist website by mistake.
Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia and general nastiness are alive and well Down Under, believe me. As they are in the UK, of course – and probably everywhere.


grendel Says:

@RZ 6.54

I think the way you look at it is sound. But the interesting thing about Uncle Toni’s remark is that it lends itself to a number of perfectly sensible interpretations. It’s a kind of aphorism, really, in the tradition of Lao Tze and people like that.

Uncle Toni – who would have thought it?


KissMyGrits Says:

Rob Says:

Only douche here is the publicist – should be named to clear Russell. Always laugh when Americans call Australians racist – half the US went to war to keep slavery and racism. That would have been unthinkable in Aus.
____________________________________________

Rob, you are getting too close to the truth. Someone is going to throw a penalty flag on the play! We do NOT have a race problem in the USA. I think the Zimmerman verdict demonstrated we are all ON THE SAME PAGE!


WTF Says:

“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.”

YEAH RIGHT.

If this is true, you need to sack your publicist.

But I didn’t think a 3rd rate player could afford to employ a publicist. That means every player on the tour would have one.

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