How is the Rogers Cup handling alleged racist abuse of black player?

Canadian Tennis Association chief executive officer Adam Cosgriff said Tuesday that the investigation into alleged racist abuse of a black player will not be completed until video of the incident can be evaluated. Lukasz…

How is the Rogers Cup handling alleged racist abuse of black player?

Canadian Tennis Association chief executive officer Adam Cosgriff said Tuesday that the investigation into alleged racist abuse of a black player will not be completed until video of the incident can be evaluated.

Lukasz Kubot, from Poland, told Canadian officials that he was hit by a ball the wrong way during Monday’s match against Peng Shuai of China at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He said he asked the referee, who apologized, but she did not reach out to Kubot again or take any other action.

“As it stands right now, I don’t see enough to say it would be me,” Cosgriff said, according to the Toronto Star. “But I will say that this video needs to be looked at closely and it will be.”

Cosgriff said the women’s doubles tournament officials will not divulge whether they have any video of the incident.

Kubot alleged that Peng was calling him “n*****” several times in an animated exchange in the locker room after the match. Chinese website Gweek reported that Peng made the remark twice, including during a handshake.

Another day, new video of the match. Still no apology from Peng. pic.twitter.com/6tCfFWPS15 — Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) May 3, 2017

The Grand Slam Board, which oversees the Rogers Cup, said it takes the matter seriously.

I strongly condemn the racist behaviour of the person who made racist remarks to Kubot. It has no place in the game. — Philippe Chatrier (@phu_chatsrier) May 3, 2017

Cosgriff said there is a shared obligation to take action in these cases in order to root out racism.

“We have to empower the rank and file and the fans who we’re touching to say this is unacceptable and that it won’t be tolerated,” he said.

Peng, speaking on Chinese television, said she was confident in the outcome of the investigation.

Greensboro police tweeted Tuesday that a Chinese-American man has been arrested and will face a battery charge.

Police said in a statement that Thomas Bitok, 48, of Greensboro, was arrested at the hospital where he was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The statement did not name him.

The United States Tennis Association tweeted Tuesday that a second man is being interviewed by police in connection with the alleged incident. No other information was given.

“The video of the Saturday incident on Arthur Ashe Courts is inconclusive and should not be used to conclude this matter. We are fully cooperating with the police, and our expectations are that this investigation is completed by the end of the week,” USTA spokeswoman Stacey Allaster said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Greenville Police Department spokesman Jeff Holt told the website that the department has identified a second man involved in the incident.

Police said his role in the incident was unclear.

“The incident happened two years ago; the man with whom this gentleman shared a room was arrested that year for a firearms related offense. It is believed that a cigarette was grabbed in the aftermath of the incident and a police officer was present to make it clear that the man should not have been handling a firearm. Both the police officer and the individual in question were unharmed at the time. The man was questioned and released. The man with whom this gentleman shared a room was identified as Bitok at the time but his name was redacted from the release. The individual in question was previously described as a person of interest, but is now being charged with a crime,” the Greensboro Police Department said in a tweet.

“The incident happened two years ago; the man with whom this gentleman shared a room was arrested that year for a firearms related offense. It is believed that a cigarette was grabbed in the aftermath of the incident and a police officer was present to make it clear that the man should not have been handling a firearm. Both the police officer and the individual in question were unharmed at the time. The man was questioned and released. The man with whom this gentleman shared a room was identified as Bitok at the time but his name was redacted from the release. The individual in question was previously described as a person of interest, but is now being charged with a crime,” the Greensboro Police Department said in a tweet.

WTA tweeted Tuesday:

Rogers Cup seed Lucie Safarova called the reported incident “unacceptable.”

Lucie Safarova calls reported incident of alleged racist attack on ‘unacceptable. Expressing hurt is only step 1 in right direction. — WTA Tennis (@WTA) May 3, 2017

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