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"I apologize for the nonsense": Fabio Fognini addresses homophobic slur following Tokyo Olympics exit
"The heat went to my head! In today’s match, I used a really stupid expression towards myself," the Italian wrote on Instagram.
Published Jul 29, 2021
During his third-round bout with Daniil Medvedev, it didn't take long for Fabio Fognini to drum up controversy. As he battled to make returns, Fognini repeatedly let out "frocio", a well-known homophobic slur in Italian.
Fognini, who retreated to all too familiar bad habits in his deeply irritated state, ultimately fell to the world No. 2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The 34-year-old blamed the sizzling heat and humid conditions for bringing out his offensive on-court remarks. Using a rainbow colored background, he took to Instagram Stories following the match to apologize for his remarks on Thursday.
"The heat went to my head! In today’s match, I used a really stupid expression towards myself. Obviously I didn’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities," Fognini wrote in a translation. "I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that came out of me.”
Fognini isn't the only player to complain about the excessive heat in Tokyo. Medvedev also struggled and even was questioned by the chair umpire if he was able to continue at one point, to which he replied: "I can finish the match but I can die, If I die, are you going to be responsible?"
In response to the rapidly growing concerns for the players health and comfort, the International Tennis Federation took action. Beginning Thursday, all matches going forward were pushed to later in the day.
As for Fognini, his Olympics campaign has come to an end. His next event will be the Masters 1000 event in Montreal.