Jay Clarke: British tennis player says he gets 15 to 20 racist messages a month
Britain’s Jay Clarke has revealed he receives 15 to 20 racially abusive messages via social media a month and it is “not a surprise” when it happens.
Clarke, 18, tweeted an example of the online abuse he had received which repeatedly referred to him as a monkey and included a series of monkey emojis.
“It has happened a few times, even at juniors, it’s the first thing people go to, colour,” the teenager told the BBC.
“The first few times it’s a shock, now you’re almost waiting for it.”
The world number 394 from Derby, ranked ninth in Britain, was speaking after losing 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 in the first round of the Nottingham Open to India’s Yuki Bhambri, the world number 231.
“[It happens] when I lose to people I shouldn’t lose to or lose tight matches,” he added.
“It’s upsetting that people think like that but it’s not the first time it’s happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
“It was important for other people to see. I get a lot of messages like that throughout the year. I’m sure a lot of other people do as well.”
The teenager has rapidly risen up the rankings in the last year, having been number 1,621 in the world in June 2016.
He trained with Andy Murray before the French Open and travelled with the Great Britain Davis Cup team for their recent tie against France.
Clarke said he had discussed racist abuse with other players on the tour.
“There are a few things that have happened to [Gael] Monfils and a lot of the other guys I have met on tour,” he added.
“It was something I talked about a lot when a kid. Not to expect it, but there will be people who are like that.
“Dealing with it has helped a lot. It is not that big a surprise now.”