Brydan Klein embarrassed by his racial slur
June 20, 2009 12:00am
TEENAGE Australian tennis player Brydan Klein yesterday issued a public apology to Raven Klaasen after admitting he had racially vilified his black South African opponent.
Klein, 19, faces sanctions from both the ATP Tour and Tennis Australia for calling Klaasen a "kaffir" at Eastbourne this week.
The 2007 Australian Open junior champion and current Davis Cup representative said he deeply regretted a "serious error in judgement".
"I would like to clarify my position on an incident that occurred during my match against Raven Klaasen in the last round of qualifying for the AEGON International at Eastbourne on June 14," Klein said in a statement.
"During the second set, after losing a point, I audibly used a racial slur.
"It was not my intention to racially vilify my opponent or cause offence to anybody else and I am deeply embarrassed that I behaved in this manner.
"I deeply regret my serious error in judgment in using this word and I am very sorry for the offence this has caused.
"After the match I called my opponent Raven and apologised for what had happened and also apologised for any offence caused to his support team.
"This incident is now currently being investigated by the ATP and as such I have been advised not to make any further comment."
The International Tennis Federation will also probe Klein's racial slur.
The Perth youngster has been suspended from the Australian Institute of Sport Pro Tour pending the investigation.
TA said it was extremely disappointed in Klein's conduct and would not rule out the possibility of further penalties.
Klaasen, 26, told his coach Stefan de Kock he was devastated by Klein's comment.
Use of the term is illegal in South Africa.
De Kock said Klein also spat at a group of South African coaches and players -- an accusation Klein denies.