Wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott recalls ‘disgusting’ backlash over AFL tweet


Wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott recalls the ‘crazy’ and ‘disgusting’ backlash he received after making a joke about an AFL footy game online

  • Dylan Alcott addressed the backlash he received following a tweet in April made about an AFL footy game between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs
  • The wheelchair tennis star, 30, said he ‘legit could get a kick’ after North Melbourne lost by 128 points
  • Appearing on a podcast this month, Dylan said he copped backlash for a joke he thought was innocent, with the ‘craziest’ and most ‘disgusting’ tweets 

Wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott recalled the ‘disgusting’ backlash he received over his comments made about an AFL football game in a tweet in April this year.

After North Melbourne suffered a 128-point loss to the Western Bulldogs with Josh Bruce kicking 10 goals for the Bulldogs, Dylan thought he made a harmless joke by saying: ‘Legit reckon I could get a kick for North Melbourne at the minute.’  

Referencing trolls while appearing on The Howie Games podcast this month, Dylan, 30, said he was on the receiving end of the ‘craziest’ and most ‘disgusting’ tweets.

Addressing the abuse: Wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott, 30, recalled the ‘crazy’ and ‘disgusting’ backlash he received after making a joke about an AFL footy game in a tweet in April this year, on a podcast this month. Pictured in January 2020

‘I was joking but it rubbed the wrong chord and I would never call someone out individually, never ever as an athlete, a person, never,’ he began.

‘But it was a team and you know what, even me saying that is a negative thing. I thought, I could have checked myself there.’  

Dylan went on to recall how an innocent joke ended up making him a target.

Harmless joke: After North Melbourne suffered a 128-point loss to the Western Bulldogs with Josh Bruce kicking 10 goals for the Bulldogs, Dylan thought he made a harmless joke by saying: 'Legit reckon I could get a kick for North Melbourne at the minute'

Harmless joke: After North Melbourne suffered a 128-point loss to the Western Bulldogs with Josh Bruce kicking 10 goals for the Bulldogs, Dylan thought he made a harmless joke by saying: ‘Legit reckon I could get a kick for North Melbourne at the minute’ 

Never meant any harm: 'I was joking but it rubbed the wrong chord and I would never call someone out individually, never ever as an athlete, a person, never,' he said on The Howie Games podcast. Pictured with girlfriend Chantelle Otten in June 2019

Never meant any harm: ‘I was joking but it rubbed the wrong chord and I would never call someone out individually, never ever as an athlete, a person, never,’ he said on The Howie Games podcast. Pictured with girlfriend Chantelle Otten in June 2019

‘But then I just opened myself up to the craziest tweets I’ve ever got. Then it’s like, “Why can you make a joke about your disability and I can’t call you a f***ing dumb cripple?”

‘And then it was just on and on,’ Dylan continued, going on to provide examples of some of the disgusting tweets such as, “They should lock you all up in a pen” and “Why do they even let you out of the home?”

‘Like, crazy stuff. It is disgusting.’  

Dylan, who won the wheelchair men’s quad singles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne Park earlier this year, has long been a passionate advocate for disabled athletes.

On the receiving end of abuse: Dylan went on to recall how an innocent joke ended up making him a target. Some of the 'disgusting' tweets included, "They should lock you all up in a pen" and "Why do they even let you out of the home?". Pictured with Chantelle

On the receiving end of abuse: Dylan went on to recall how an innocent joke ended up making him a target. Some of the ‘disgusting’ tweets included, “They should lock you all up in a pen” and “Why do they even let you out of the home?”. Pictured with Chantelle

He was vocal in his criticism after US tennis officials initially cancelled the tournament for wheelchair players last year.

‘Just got announced that the US Open will go ahead WITHOUT wheelchair tennis.. Players weren’t consulted,’ he tweeted last June following the controversial announcement.

‘I thought I did enough to qualify – 2x champion, number 1 in the world. But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk. Disgusting discrimination.

‘And please do not tell me I am a ‘greater risk’ because I am disabled. I am disabled yes but that does not make me SICK. It is blatant discrimination for able bodied people to decide on my behalf what I do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough.’

Tournament organisers later announced that wheelchair tennis would be played at Flushing Meadows.

Dylan, a 12-time grand slam champion, lost the men’s singles final to Sam Schroder from the Netherlands in three sets last September.  

Before he became a force on court, Dylan was a champion basketballer.

He was a key member of the Australian squad who won gold at the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008 and is also a key motivational speaker. 

A target for trolls: 'I just opened myself up to the craziest tweets I've ever got. Then it's like, "Why can you make a joke about your disability and I can't call you a f***ing dumb cripple?"' he also said on the podcast. Pictured in October 2019

A target for trolls: ‘I just opened myself up to the craziest tweets I’ve ever got. Then it’s like, “Why can you make a joke about your disability and I can’t call you a f***ing dumb cripple?”‘ he also said on the podcast. Pictured in October 2019

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