• External Contributor

Kyrgios isn't a MOOD, he's a brat

Hello, yes, I am determined to piss off my entire generation with this opinion, but I stand by it 100%, and yes, it is the hill I will die on. Nick Kyrgios is a total brat.

I first realised the tennis is on once again by scrolling through many of my peers' IG stories where they labelled @k1ngkyrg1os (I mean, come ON) a MOOD or the GOAT or just generally frothed over him. I'm not particularly into tennis, or watching any sport really, but I'm not so out of touch that I don't know about Kyrgios' career. At least I was pretty sure I did. Which resulted in some confusion when I saw so many people absolutely worshipping him. Surely, I thought to myself, surely this isn't the young tennis player who throws tantrums (and chairs) and smashes rackets. No, surely I'd gotten him mixed up with someone else.

But I was correct.

I won't go on to chronicle his various temper tantrums over the past years, but if you missed the news, you can read about them here, here, and here. When you type 'Nick Kyrgios' into Google, the suggested next word is 'smashes'. But my opinion doesn't actually have much to do with K1ing Kyrg1os himself. It's more to do with my generation's obsession with him.

A excerpt from First Dog on the Moon's comic strip

A very short Google search taught me that a disdain for Kyrigos' attitude is a 'Boomer mentality'. Which simply lead me to wonder why Millennials think it's uncool to try or care about things. Aside from the environment and social issues, which we are encouraged to shout about, we're supposed to have a cool disposition about our achievements, interests and hobbies. Graduated with a high distinction? Didn't even try that hard lol! Opened a business? I was sick of working for the man haha.

Kyrgios is the embodiment of this attitude. I'd argue his catch phrase is "I don't care" at this point. He doesn't care about tennis, doesn't care about the crowd, doesn't care about his friendship breakdown with other players, and doesn't care about how many competitions he missed with injured.

Multiple experts and media outlets have accused him of not trying hard enough, have said he could play better if he gave it a bit more effort. This is painfully close to what my mother and teachers said to me in high school. 'Kristin doesn't apply herself,' was a common comment on report cards and in teacher parent interviews. And it was true. I didn't. I didn't care. We'll never know if it's true about Kyrgios. A player who performs that well probably is applying himself at least a bit, if you ask me. But whether it's an accurate assessment or not, he totally plays into it. And so did I. When I was 16. I now look back with some embarrassment and a lot of relief that I dropped that attitude.

Photo from Greek Herald

Kyrgios is 25. Still young by many counts. But in a spotlight most annoying teenagers weren't and aren't in. It's my belief that people with a large platform should take some responsibility, but I get it. He hasn't had a normal upbringing. That's not to say I'm letting him off the hook (hence the title of this article), but it is worth mentioning. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation - what came first Kyrigos' attitude, or Millennials stanning him for being so vocal about that stance.

The racket smashing, continual yelling and swearing at matched (despite the fact that he knows the rules), and breaking a chair that time actually has little to do with my disdain for the young star. Once again, he is young, and he's hardly the only player (in any sport) to crack it after a loss. Before we wag a finger at Kyrgios, I think we'd be better turning our efforts to the continued culture of abuse that's fostered in NRL. But his 'I don't care' attitude bugs me. And so does the culture of idolising this apathetic disposition.

It can be uncomfortable and seem braggy to be proud of your achievements, especially in Australia, where tall poppy syndrome is bred into us from a young age. And I'm just as guilty as anyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my accomplishments internally, but when someone else mentions them, my eyes avert and I'm quick to change the subject. But it isn't something I'm proud of and is something I'm actively trying to change, and I'm sure as hell not going to idolise that behaviour.