‘Domestic abuse isn’t taken seriously’: Bitter reaction to BBC’s decision to hire Nick Kyrgios

The tennis player's new job hasn't gone over well with many.

The tennis player's new job hasn't gone over well with many. Photo: AAP

BBC’s appointment of Nick Kyrgios as Wimbledon commentator has sparked outrage, with critics dredging up his history of assault against his girlfriend.

The BBC confirmed if Kyrgios decides to rest his racquet at this year’s Wimbledon, he would join the broadcaster’s commentary team.

This follows his stint as ESPN and Eurosport commentator during the Australian Open in January.

“A host of Wimbledon champions will be joining us in the studio, including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Pat Cash, alongside Tim Henman, Tracy Austin, Annabel Croft and Johanna Konta,” BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said, as reported by Guardian.

“And also joining the line-up this year will be 2021 champion Ash Barty and, if he’s not playing, the 2022 ­Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios – anything could happen there.”

But women’s advocates have slammed the appointment.

“What kind of message does this appointment – revealed during Prevention of Domestic Violence month – send to other men in the community?” Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing CEO Alison Evans said in a statement to The New Daily.

Kyrgios had previously pleaded guilty to pushing his then-girlfriend Chiara Passari hard enough for her to fall to the ground in 2021.

Kyrgios was allowed to play at Wimbledon while the case was still in court, and in February the charges were dismissed as the magistrate said the seriousness of the matter was “low level” and indicated Kyrgios was not at risk of reoffending.

Evans pointed out that Kyrgios had not only pleaded guilty to the assault charge, but has been publicly supportive of “known misogynist” Andrew Tate, who is facing charges of rape, human trafficking and exploiting women.

Nick Kyrgios drew condemnation for his public support of Tate, despite the serious charges levelled against the latter. Photo: TND/X/@NickKyrgios

“Setting him up as a respected commentator in the media sends the message to victim survivors and the rest of the community that domestic abuse isn’t taken seriously,” Evans said.

“We are at a tipping point over men’s violence against women, both in this country and the UK.

“What we need now is men to stand up and send a message that says violence against women and misogynistic attitudes have no place in today’s society.”

Family violence and violence against women has been under the spotlight over recent months following several deaths of women, men and children at the hands of men known to them, and a mass stabbing at Bondi, during which the perpetrator seemed to target women.

The federal government has committed $925 million over five years to set up the Leaving Violence program, but experts previously told The New Daily more measures were needed.

The Australian Institute of Criminology found one woman was killed every 11 days and one man was killed every 91 days by an intimate partner on average in financial year 2022-23.

Kyrgios’s management did not provide comment; The New Daily also contacted the BBC for comment.

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