In a situation begging for a much needed response, last night Donald Young gave up the ghost and apologized for his twitter outburst against the United States Tennis Association this past Friday, after a bleak Easter weekend of silence and a newly deleted twitter account. The apology took place shortly after Patrick McEnroe expressed his anger over the situation via conference call.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Young took time to personally apologize to two members of the USTA team, coaches David Nainkin and Jay Berger, who have worked closely with Young and said his apology was sincere. Young has not yet issued an official apology. On Friday, he apologized via Twitter for his offensive language but not the sentiment, saying, "That tweet was out of character. ive never been like that before. but im tired of it. sry about the language, but not the thought behind it."
Though very upset, Patrick McEnroe, the USTA General Manager for Player Development said, "I think Donald should apologize for what he said. At that point, we can all move on... It's not even my good graces. This isn't personal. This is about apologizing, number one, okay?"
According to Berger, McEnroe also received an apology. Will all be mended and forgotten?
"I'm not going to say we're going to withdraw support. But I'm going to say a lot of things are going to have to happen for us to reconsider." McEnroe commented, "There's no doubt in my mind that he can get a lot better and become a Top 50, Top 30, maybe even a Top 20 player. But you can't go halfway. You need to be all in. He's not totally all in. If he doesn't want to be with us, if he wants to keep his parents as his coaches, go in with someone else, we wish him all the luck in the world and we'll try to help him."
On Monday afternoon's conference call regarding the upcoming wildcard play-offs, McEnroe took time to point out the privileges, grants and support the USTA has provided Young and his family, despite their opposition and being difficult to deal with as a team. It all started when Donald Sr., his father and coach, asked for a wildcard from the USTA to the upcoming French Open because Young broke the top 100 which would allow him access.
However, the cut-off date had passed for that type of consideration. To make it worse, the USTA had already scheduled the wild-card playoff in Boca Raton two days later in which Young was one of six players entered and lost to fellow American Tim Smyczek 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. McEnroe said that World No. 98 Young had been given 13 wild-card entries into different U.S. Open draws over the years but it was time that he earned them like the rest of the players, who all probably believe they deserve a chance, too.
Berger concurred, saying, “(S)ometimes you have to earn things. This was one of the easiest paths to a Grand Slam. Basically, Donald had to beat a guy ranked 176th in the world. Maybe what he said was out of anger but it still hurt.”
McEnroe emphasized earning one's way in tennis as a principle and said, "You need consistency. What's wrong with going and earning it again? If we gave it to Donald Young this time... John Isner played in the wildcard playoff a couple years ago. He was ranked like 70 in the world."
21-year-old Young has been put under the pressure of being called the next up-and-comer for American tennis since his success as junior, but it has never quite come to fruition, despite recent successes in the Tallahassee Challenger event and in his defeat of Andy Murray in the first round of Indian Wells. Has he fallen victim to those expectations and pressure, or has he been over-hyped and coddled?
Some interesting comments came from tennis enthusiasts via the Tennis Now Facebook, YouTube and blogs worth sharing that offers some truth:
Glenn Harris posted, "He tweets with the same maturity with which he plays."
Chinook Pilot posted, "Maybe he should have been working out or working on the backhand instead of tweeting"
Tennis Now got an interview with Young at the BNP Paribas Open and asked him about having any regrets about his tweets. It was in Monday's video news starting at minute 1:01:
Ryan commented, "The idea that Donald Young has not gotten any help from the USTA or anyone else (ahem, Nike) is garbage. He has been coddled forever and that is well-documented. I'm watching NBA pre-game coverage, and Charles Barkley spoke about JR Smith, noting that people are going to say "when he grows up and gets it, he'll be a great player." You could say the same thing about Young."
Some came to Donald's defense:
Tom Genzlinger posted, "The USTA has threatened to stop financially helping him if he continues to have his parents as coaches. In 2009, Patrick McEnroe sent a letter to his parents threatening to do just that. Coupled with the USTA's refusal to grant Young any more exemptions in to main draws, and the threats of cutting him off financialy, I guess he just broke down."
kwbsystems posted, "So, it is still against the law for a Black man to get angry at a perceived injustice. There was little press interest when Federer & Sharapova used the F-word in person to Umpires, but I guess that falls under White Privilege. Now, Donald Young appears to be apologizing to any USTA person he can find. Perhaps, if he had spent some time in college he would not be in the position of begging and groveling. Education, my dear Donald, is the only thing they can’t take away."
What do you think?
Lauren Lynch is a Correspondent for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.