Emma Raducanu row: ITV’s Adil Ray sparks huge backlash over tennis star’s Romanian roots

Emma Raducanu reacts after reaching US Open final

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Mr Ray, who works as a presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, put out the controversial tweet on Friday and was met by a barrage of replies from Twitter users. In a clear reference to Ms Raducanu’s brilliant run to the US Open final, Mr Ray tweeted: “If you play in a tennis final you’re British if you’re a builder/delivery man/waitress etc you’re Romanian.”

This expectedly brought a huge response, with hundreds of Twitter users replying to the initial tweet by Mr Ray.

One Twitter member could not hide their disdain towards the tweet as they said: “As usual Mr Ray yet again trying to make a race row where one doesn’t exist!”

Another Twitter user pointed out how the tweet was a generalisation as they said: “That’s a sweeping generalisation, we don’t all think like that- surely fighting prejudice is about not making generalisations?”

Another Twitter user said: “Absurd. Are you suggesting Raducanu’s not British? Or that Romanians who are in the UK working aren’t Romanian?”

Ms Raducanu is due to play Leylah Fernandez in the final of the US Open after the 18-year-old defeated Maria Sakkari in the semi-final of one of the four majors in tennis.

Following her victory in the semi-final, a number of celebrities took to Twitter to express their delight at the tennis star’s victory, with former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher tweeting: “Can u dig it congratulations to Emma Raducanu c’mon LG.”

But the responses to Adil Ray continued to highlight glaring issues with his tweet, as one user replied: “Not sure that’s always true. Emma Raducanu has lived in the UK since she was 2. I would expect any builder/waitress etc who’d lived here from the same eatly age to be regarded the same.”

Another described the tweet as “either attention seeking or trouble causing” due to the connotations of the tweet itself.

However, one Twitter user was quick to point out that this generalisation has occurred with a few sports stars over the years.

The Twitter user tweets: “Reminds me of the joke about Zinedine Zidane by a stand-up comedian (can’t remember his name). When he scores/wins: He’s French, he’s ‘our’ champion #Zizou! When he stuffs up: No he’s not French like ‘us’, he’s Algerian.”

Much closer to home, according to one Twitter user, the “Murray paradox” has been continually used when it comes to Andy Murray’s tennis career.

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They continue to explain that Sir Andy Murray is “British when winning, Scottish when losing” while saying that headlines contrast from “Leading British tennis star making his way swiftly to the final stages of the tournament” to “Unlucky Scot beaten in the final”.

But tweets from 2010 do seem to support this claim, as one user tweeted at the time: “So #Wimbledon concludes and Andy Murray remains a Scottish semi finalist, not a British champion.”

Another user tweeted in 2009: “How long will it take before Andy Murray changes from being a British tennis hero to a Scottish tennis loser?”

Sir Andy became Wimbledon champion for the first time in 2013 and then won it again in 2016, with a US Open win in 2012 being among the career highlights for one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the game.

The tweets about Sir Andy being British or Scottish depending on the outcomeof tournament matches seemed to start around 2008, as one user tweeted: “The beauty of Andy Murray if he wins he is British if he loses he is Scottish!”

Another user tweeted in 2008 that they were “amused by the way Murray is a British tennis player when he wins, and a Scottish tennis player when he has lost”.

And even as late as this year, the tweets still continue about the public view of Sir Andy in tennis as they said: “Andy Murray put it perfectly. When he wins, he’s British. When he loses, he’s Scottish.”

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