Kyrgios’ scathing swipe at Scott Morrison
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has criticised Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his approach in dealing with the bushfire crisis.
The devastating fires, which have claimed 24 lives over the last couple of months, made headlines around the world after countless homes were destroyed, along with millions of hectares of Australian land.
Writing for Athletes Voice, Kyrgios condemned Morrison for his slow response to the bushfire disaster, and was particularly unhappy with Morrison's interaction with citizens who had lost their homes in Cobargo.
"As the leader of our country, I don't think Scott Morrison has done enough to be honest. At the very least, he was far too slow to act, while people were losing their lives and families were losing their homes. There is nothing worse than that," Kyrgios wrote.
"If I could say anything to our politicians, it's imagine you're in the same position as these people who have been impacted.
"Imagine your family home is in the path of these fires. Imagine that you don't have much money, and don't know where to turn. Imagine that the fires have come through, and you've lost everything except the clothes on your back.
"Think about those things, and show some compassion. Put everything else aside for however long it takes, and let's get this sorted."
Before the ATP Cup commenced last week, Kyrgios promised to donate $200 for every ace he managed over the summer.
The 24-year-old influenced multiple Australian sporting stars to contribute towards the Australian bushfire appeal, including world number one Ash Barty, who pledged to donate the entire sum of her prizemoney from the Brisbane International.
"Aussie tennis players always get plenty of attention over the summer and I decided to use that platform to help raise exposure and do some good," Kyrgios wrote.
"I knew that some people would get on board, but I never expected the response that we've seen in the last week.
"If there's one thing I've taken away from this, it's that people have a heart and want to help.
"I believe that as athletes, the amount we can help with has no limit. We don't even have a choice; we have to chip in.
"If I regret anything, it's not doing something sooner."
Kyrgios broke down in tears following his opening singles match in ATP Cup when discussing the impact bushfires have had on his hometown, Canberra.
"My home town is Canberra and about a week ago we had the most toxic air in the world. It was heartbreaking to see smoke choking the streets of the city where I grew up. It's usually a clean place that I feel lucky to call home. I never thought I'd see it like this," Kyrgios wrote in Athletes Voice.
"A couple of my friends were trapped on the New South Wales south coast for a couple of days recently, with fires all around them. They were sending me photos of what they were seeing and everything was red. It looked apocalyptic.
"I can't imagine being in the middle of that.
"Some other family friends watched the fires come within just a couple of hundred metres of their home.
"I've seen photos of families crying after they've lost everything, fearing for their lives. When you see something like that, you can't help but feel. And wonder what you can do to help.
Kyrgios and Team Australia will face Spain or Belgium in the ATP Cup semi final in Sydney on Friday.