Hundreds of NFL players in the U.S. and London kneeled during the national anthem before games on Monday morning Australian time in protest against Donald Trump and acts of racism in America.
So when Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios took a knee on the court at the Laver Cup before his match against Roger Federer, the immediate conclusion was drawn that he did so in solidarity.
Not so, according to Kyrgios.
"F*** no. Serious?" Kyrgios said when asked about it after he lost to Federer, reported New York Times writer Christopher Clary.
Kyrgios when asked if his dropping to a knee had anything to do with Trump? "&*%* no. Serious?"— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) September 24, 2017
For the record, Nick Kyrgios said dropping to a knee had nothing to do with current protests in the USA. It was a personal tribute— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) September 24, 2017
Commentators on Twitter and in the sports media were quick to draw the link between Kyrgios's act, which he said was a personal tribute, and the show of defiance taken by NFL players over Trump's comments about the flag.
Respect Nick Kyrgios who took a knee before his warm-up vs Federer. That's a show of solidarity! pic.twitter.com/nPDfY1m82l— Nana Kwaku Agyemang (@kwasinom) September 24, 2017
Trump has called players who have kneeled during the national anthem, a symbolic protest started by Colin Kaepernick, "sons of bitches" and implored fans to boycott NFL games.
He also urged the NFL to "fire or suspend" players who chose to protest during the anthem.