Another incident of inappropriate behaviour in the sporting world...this time it is tennis in the spotlight.
Nick Kyrgios has just been fined by the Association of tennis professionals for making lewd comments about his opponent’s girlfriend.
This is not the first time Kyrgios has come in for criticism – there have been a string of arguably less offensive, but still unsportsmanlike, comments from him in previous tournaments. As we blogged when the Luis Suarez incident happened last year, it is often the case that inappropriate behaviour is overlooked by managers until something really unacceptable happens – especially if that person is a golden performer like Suarez or a rising star like Kyrgios. The ATP should really have nipped his inappropriate conduct in the bud sooner - the outcry from fellow players supports this.
Management teams have a duty to create a working environment which is harassment free and comfortable for all... and if this means firmly managing a top performer or promising talent, when they step out of line, then that is what they should do – not make allowances or turn a blind eye because of the possible results team members may bring.
The tennis world have made it very clear they do not want cricket type “sledging” creeping into their sport and thankfully the ATP have now acted.
But there is a keen lesson for managers in the business world here – we shouldn’t support great performance or strive for a top position at any cost ... it risks reputational damage and demotivating or even losing other valued team players along the way.
As the target of Kyrgios’ verbal swipes, Wawrinka, said “They were not just a few words. With one sentence, he can touch and hurt a lot of people”
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