Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios complained that fans smoking weed during his second-round US Open match on Wednesday against Benjamin Bonzi were likely exacerbating Kyrgios’ asthma. During the second set, he asked chair umpire Jaume Campistol if the official wanted to “remind anyone not to do it or anything,.” The crowd was promptly delivered a warning to cease any toking going on.
“Obviously, I’m not going to complain about food smell,” he told the line judge, who didn’t immediately understand what odor he was talking about. “It was fucking marijuana.”
Kyrgios wound up winning the match 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 4-6 6-4, but afterwards he continued to harp on the noise levels at Louis Armstrong Arena, and what he perceived as the competition’s onlookers smoking marijuana.
"People don't know I'm a heavy asthmatic,” he said. “When I'm running side to side, I'm struggling to breathe, probably not something I want to be breathing in between points.”
Ironically, the match took place in a New York stadium named for one of the first celebrities who were notorious for their consumption of cannabis. Jazz superstar Armstrong was an outspoken proponent of cannabis legalization. He became one of the first famous people targeted by law enforcement over marijuana consumption back in 1930, when he and his drummer were arrested outside the Culver City, California club where they were performing. The iconic trumpeter subsequently spent nine days in jail.
Such history likely escaped Kyrgios, who has of late been having real issues with fan behavior that he perceives as being disrespectful. In June, in a Wimbledon press conference while he ate sushi, the player admitted to spitting at a trash-talking spectator.
"I've been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time,” Kyrgios told reporters. “So I don't feel like I owed that person anything. He literally came to the match to not even support anyone really, just to stir up disrespect. That's fine, but if I give it back to you, that's just how it is."
During the same session, he said line judges calling balls against him were too old to be umpires.
"Factually, people that are younger have better eyesight,” he said. “Do you not think that's appropriate?
In response to Kyrgios’— rather narc-ish — comments at this week’s match, Leafly rounded up nine celebrities who were in the stands that day who have gone on the record for smoking weed in the past. The list included: Former president Bill Clinton, Sexpert Dr. Ruth Westheimer, actors Ben Stiller and Corey Stoll, cannabis entrepreneur and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, rappers Queen Latifah and Offset, director Spike Lee, or New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Could it have been one of them who triggered the wound up athlete’s ire? (Leafly put its money on Adams, but the politician’s guilt has yet to be determined.)
Regardless of who it was, smoking weed doesn’t yield being disrespectful, but being an uptight asshole sure does. At least now we know who among us is a narc.