Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: John McEnroe suspects mafia involvement in tennis match-fixing

Friday, December 7, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: John McEnroe suspects mafia involvement in tennis match-fixing

Is the tennis world being infiltrated by the mafia? Likely, according to John McEnroe. Tennis' most famous loud-mouth told The Daily Telegraph,

"The thing that worries me is that mafia types, like the Russian mafia, could be involved. That's potentially pretty dark and scary, [...] I think that's the side that people aren't really looking at with these match-fixing stories. Someone may have threatened the players, and they are put in a situation. I'm guessing that could happen. That would make more sense to me than top players throwing a match for money."

"Throwing a match for money would be stupid, as you would be risking losing what you've worked for your whole life. It seems crazy that players would take that risk for money. It would make more sense that they've been threatened in some way and that's why they're doing it."

Oh, the ol' mafia excuse again. Why is McEnroe allowed to propogate this type of stereotyping publicly without consequence? It's unfortunate and unnecessary.

Is it completely inconceiveable for a player to match-fix from pure greed? Not to us.

(image via


  1. It is very possible that a player will throw a match from pure greed, but it is also very conceivable that Russian mafia can get involved in professional sports including tennis. If you have time, check out my post Tennis, McEnroe and Russian Mafia.

    It is funny to see that you also found that mafia image suitable for the post :-)

  2. I believe both scenarios are possible but I think it's dangerous to throw around these types of comments with no proof. It's a stereotype thrown at certain countries, sometimes warranted and sometimes not. These remarks, especially from someone of McEnroe's stature, can be inflamatory. If there was even small evidence that it the mafia was possibly involved, I could understand saying it publicly. But at this point he's just speaking from pure speculation and it doesn't do the sport or relations with the country much good.


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