Attacked as a “white nationalist,” U.S. tennis player Tennys Sandgren vehemently denied the accusation as he sought to continue his rise at the 2018 Australian Open.
After the world’s number 97 player won a five-set victory over fifth seed Dominic Thiem at the Open, Sandgren was confronted over claims that he was a supporter of “alt-right” figures, the BBC reported.
The 26-year-old player was asked about re-tweeting a video by Nicholas Fuentes, a Boston University student who has been accused of being a “white supremacist.” Fuentes is a Trump supporter at a liberal university and purportedly visited a white nationalist rally.
Sandgren raised eyebrows simply because he re-tweeted one of Fuentes’ tweets, and it was that connection the tennis player was quizzed about.
“Who you follow on Twitter, I feel, doesn’t matter even a little bit,” Sandgren told the media.
Sandgren went on to ridicule the liberal media’s obvious assumption that a re-tweet must mean someone has signed onto everything the original tweeter believes.
“To say: ‘Well, he’s following X person, so he believes all the things that this person believes’… I think that’s ridiculous,” the player said.
That didn’t satisfy the press. Sandgren was pressed on whether or not he supports posts, tweets, or Internet sites by “the alt-right.”
“No, I don’t. I find some of the content interesting,” he said.
The player did, however, end on a note that likely upset the press.
“But no, I don’t, not at all. As a firm Christian, I don’t support things like that. I support Christ and following Him. That’s what I support,” he said.
Sandgren is only the second competitor in 20 years to reach the quarter-final on his first showing in Melbourne.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.