American doubles player Mike Bryan was fined $10,000 for making a shooting gun gesture with his tennis racket during a U.S. Open match on Saturday night.
According to an ESPN report, Bryan, playing with his doubles partner and brother Bob Bryan, flipped over his tennis racket to resemble a pretend gun and pointed it at the umpire and line judge after a poor call the duo challenged was overturned in their favor.
“Trailing by a set but leading 6-5, the Bryans challenged a lob that had been called in. When the Hawk-eye replay showed it was clearly long, Mike Bryan turned his racket round so the handle was aimed toward the linesperson before going on to point his finger toward both the umpire and linesperson,” the report detailed.
“What did I do? Just tell me what I did, real quick,” Bryan asked umpire Mariana Alves.
“The gesture that you did,” Alves answered. “You did it to the line umpire and did it to me. You did with your racket like it was a gun. I don’t think that was appropriate.”
Bryan issued a statement following the fine, telling The New York Times that he understands how the playful gesture could be viewed as “insensitive.”
“We won the point and the gesture was meant to be playful. But given the recent news and political climate I understand how my gesture could be viewed as insensitive. I promise that I will never do anything like this again,” the statement read.
A shooting in Odessa, Texas, left seven dead on Saturday. The now-deceased gunman, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy, shot at least 20 people, including a 17-month-old baby.
On Sunday, Bryan was hit with the $10,000 fine over the gesture, which was the highest citation doled out to a male player in the tournament thus far, according to ESPN.
Last year, U.S. tennis star Serena Williams was hit with a $17,000 fine after berating umpire Carlos Ramos for a call with which she disagreed. Williams called Ramos a “thief” and a “liar,” accused him of sexism, and smashed her racket on the court.
“There’s men out here who do a lot worse. But because I’m a woman, because I’m a woman, you’re gonna take this away from me? That is not right,” the tennis pro lashed out, telling Ramos directly: “You will never do another one of my matches.”
According to a CNN report published in July, Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini was fined $3,000 for saying a “bomb should explode” on the All England Club at the end of a Wimbledon match. Bernard Tomic of Australia was fined his full Wimbledon prize money of $58,500 for not hitting the “required professional standard” during his first-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the report said, noting that fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios was also fined twice ($3,000 and $5,000) for “unsportsmanlike conduct in his first and second-round matches.”
After losing their first set, Bryan and his brother went on to close out two sets for the win.