Sloane Stephens is exhausted — not from the grind of her third-round defeat on the U.S. Open Saturday, however from the abuse and hateful phrases she obtained on-line after her loss.
“This isn’t talked about sufficient, however it actually freaking sucks,” Stephens wrote Saturday on her Instagram account.
Stephens, the No. 66-ranked girls’s tennis participant on the planet, shared vile messages she obtained — saying there have been greater than 2,000 of that ilk following the 28-year-old’s three-set loss to Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Friday.
There have been messages wishing for her to be raped. There have been racist phrases. There have been threats.
“I promise to seek out you and destroy your leg so onerous that you would be able to’t stroll anymore,” learn one.
“Any such hate is so exhausting and by no means ending,” stated Stephens, an African-American from Florida who received the 2017 U.S. Open.
Athletes’ beforehand undiscussed tribulations have taken on a better platform not too long ago. Simone Biles withdrew from Olympic competitors to work on her psychological well being. Naomi Osaka, who earlier this yr declined to talk to reporters, additionally citing her psychological well being, stated Friday night time she “needs to take a break [from tennis] for some time” after tossing her racquet a number of instances throughout her loss to Leylah Fernandez.
For her half, Stephens tried to weed by the negativity to discover a vibrant facet.
“I’m selecting constructive vibes over unfavourable ones,” Stephens wrote. “I select to indicate you guys happiness on right here however it’s not all the time smiles and roses.”
“Sloane has courageously delivered to the forefront a problem that many modern-day athletes are compelled to cope with all through their careers. The unlucky actuality is that such a vitriol and hate is much too commonplace on social media platforms,” The USTA stated in an announcement. “The USTA and US Open acknowledge that this is only one instance of the stresses that skilled tennis gamers face. That is why in 2021 we’ve bolstered our US Open Medical Crew to make sure that a complete and holistic strategy might be taken with all facets of participant well being, together with psychological well being.”
— further reporting by Marc Berman