- Jul 2011
Five Things We Learned from Day 4 of the Rogers Cup - Sportsnet.caFelix Auger-Aliassime wanted to celebrate his 19th birthday with a victory. Karen Khachanov had other plans. The Russian won a hard-fought three sets 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 to beat the young Canadian in front of Auger-Aliassime’s hometown crowd.
Khachanov, who benefitted from Auger-Aliassime’s 12 double faults, allowed the crowd’s enthusiasm (read: loud booing and ill-timed whistling) to affect his composure.
The 23-year-old didn’t hold back when addressing the crowd’s behaviour at his post-match media availability.
“I cannot deny that I got a little bit crazy with the crowd. But I’m really a bit disappointed, I could say, with the crowd as well,” Khachanov explained. “I don’t have anything against when they cheer for Felix. It’s normal. He’s home favourite, especially from Montreal. I wish they could cheer the same way in Russia for me.
“But still, you know, not when I miss or not wishing me to miss, screaming during the points, out. I think it’s unrespectful. I just got crazy.”
Khachanov added with a smile: “On the other side, I provoke the crowd, and that gave me also some kind of energy, as well. I don’t know. I was doing some bullshit, honestly.”
Despite Auger-Aliassime’s loss, the Montreal crowd serenaded the hometown favourite to wish him a happy birthday.
Auger-Aliassime congratulates Khachanov on his win, after the game
See what I highlighted and underlined, in the article.
You know, I don't really follow tennis much, as far as sports go. Never cared much about it. Just came across this today, by chance, honestly. But, that one kinda hit me.
Two minority guys, each representing his country. Felix Auger-Aliassime's dad came here, to Canada, from Africa, from Togo (and mom is white Quebecois). And Karen Khachanov is, like me, half Armenian, only with me it's my mom, with him - his dad (and mom is Russian, Slav).
Now, maybe I am overthinking it, perhaps due to my own heritage and all that, but, I can't help it:
What I feel he hinted at, there, was, all these mostly white Canadian tennis fans cheered for this black, half-African player as their own. But the Slavic Russian fans in Moscow wouldn't necessarily cheer like that for Karen, because of his Caucasian, Armenian name and blood. Period. That's just the truth of it.I wish they could cheer the same way in Russia for me.
Not all of them, mind you. Tennis, even in Russia, is not like soccer over there, you won't have folks waving around fucking swastikas in the stands
Nor does shit like that go on in tennis over there
Tennis fans are much more civilized, even Russian ones lol
But that doesn't change the FACT, that too many Slavic Russians have an AVERSION, whether conscious or not, a bias, as far as rooting for minority athletes goes.
When, for instance, Khabib Nurmagomedov beat and choked the hell out of Conor McGregor
and then started a brawl between whole teams lol
Long story short, he is first ever UFC Champion from Russia
First, ever, period.
Nobody, not even Fedor fucking Emelyanenko accomplished this before him
You would think Russians (who LOVE fighting/combat sports) would be bloody ecstatic; but, here's the problem: Khabib, of course, happens to be a Muslim from Dagestan, with a wife who wears a hijab
And this was a huge issue for lots of people...
Enough so that plenty of Slav fans in Russia actually rooted AGAINST Khabib in that fight, for McGregor! Mind you, again, far from ALL.
In fact, right here in Canada, on a diaspora site, we were discussing the fight and there was this one guy who openly said that he ain't rooting for him (Khabib), because he doesn't like Caucasians and Muslims, period. And, to be fair, a bunch of others (also Slavs) shouted that prick down, and one guy, who was also in Alberta, actually wanted to fucking fight him over it (That dude reportedly did send him his address in PM; I have no idea what did or did not go down over there, in the end...)
But that's the diaspora. We are more closely packed together here, we know that, our own ethnic divisions aside, Canadians or Americans can't and won't tell us apart regardless, so, most of us tend to drop that bs and let it say dropped lol
Back there, it's different. Ethnic divisions are strong. Majority of Russians of all stripes, I dare say, are patriots of their country. But, day to day, though, everyone over there, their loyalty is to own ethnic group, first and foremost.
There is an especially fierce rivalry between the Slavs and the Caucasians (ALL Caucasians, really, whether Muslims in Chechnya or Dagestan or Orthodox Christians in Ossetia), especially in sports, and particularly combat sports; when a Slav ethnic Russian goes up against a Caucasian guy
You must cheer for own race/ethnicity, period. You MUST. Even if don't like "your" guy, must root for him. Or you are a fucking traitor. No joke.
At the national level, in World Championships and Olympics and such, yes, the country can certainly rally together; majority of Slavs WILL cheer for Dagestani or Ossetian wrestlers at Olympics, if for no other reason than that there is plain old nobody else, these days, for them to cheer on; Caucasians rule wrestling in Russia today haha
But still, shit happens, as with Khabib, where there were so many racist comments and such against him online, the Kremlin actually, I believe (based on things I saw at the time, on various sites) deployed IRA and other troll farms to drown those fuckers out and harass them off those sites lmao, and Putin also invited him for a personal sit down (something he rarely does with any individual athletes), pretty much to show him, and the populace itself too, that, yes, don't worry, the Motherland IS indeed behind you
Tennis, again, is better than other sports; but even there, you still have all kinds of crap, like I told about all the abuse suffered by (half-Georgian) player, Anna Chakvetadze
during the tensions with Georgia in early 2000s: August War
It all pisses me off. Shouldn't be that way.
People shouldn't be judged for the blood in their veins, but for who they are...
Of course, when you confront a Slav about this, he'll just say, well, it's not like you Caucasians don't act exactly the same, you also tend to support your own ethnicity in most situations.
Yeah... No shit... Because we are from the same fucking country/society/culture...
And it's a fucking corrupt, mismanaged, violent shithole, precisely because most there, regardless of ethnic background, are like that...