Brazilian tennis player Guilherme Clezar was fined £1,100 ($1,487) by the International Tennis Federation after a racist gesture was caught on video during a game.
Essa foi a reação de Guilherme Clezar quando um juiz de linha errou uma marcação contra o brasileiro. pic.twitter.com/37pbcPLuif
— Alexandre Cossenza (@saqueevoleio) September 15, 2017
Clezar, 24, was playing in the Davis Cup in Osaka against Yuichi Sugita when he challenged a line call. When it was found in his favor, Clezar reached up to his face and pulled his eyes back briefly while looking in the direction of the judge.
Clezar later lost the match. Sugita went on to a victory against Brazil.
The perfect birthday present for Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 🎉
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) September 18, 2017
According to the BBC, the ITF fined Clezar for “unsportsmanlike conduct,” adding in a statement:
“The incident was reported after the match and the TV footage was then reviewed by the tie referee. Clezar issued a written apology. The ITF condemns all forms of offensive behaviour.”
In his written apology posted to the Brazilian Tennis Confederation’s Facebook page, Clezar wrote:
“We have been extremely well received here and I have an excellent relationship with all tennis players from many different countries on the circuit.
“Even though I didn’t mean any prejudice, I recognise the gesture doesn’t ring true with the attitudes of respect, enthusiasm, solidarity, emotion and many other things that sport means to us and I want to express my regret and my most sincere apologies.”
Earlier this year, Brazilian player Robert Kenedy, defender for the Chelsea Football Club, stirred outrage after posting two videos on Instagram that were criticized by Chinese social media as racist insults while the team was in Beijing for an event.