Through no fault of his own, retired Australian tennis great and Wimbledon winner Pat Cash has been copping a serve on social media.
The confusion arose during BBC’s live commentary of last night’s Sam Groth-Roger Federer match at the All England club.
Many viewers took offence at what they misheard as a gay slur.
Cash, commenting on fellow Aussie Groth, who is the fastest serving male tennis player in the world at the moment, with a first serve of 145mph, appeared to refer to players who stay on the baseline as “the gay ones”, and players who serve-volley as “real men”.
Within moments, both Cash and the BBC’s various Twitter feeds were bombarded with tennis fans demanding he apologise, with many hoping they had misheard or misunderstood his turn of phrase.
While many fans on social media were appalled by the apparent comments, other spectators claimed Cash had actually referred to baseliners as “the game ones”.
Q News understands that what he actually said was: “I always tell my kids, all the baseliners, the serve-volleyers are real game, real men.
“We’re the game ones. Chickens like you (fellow commentator John Inverdale) stand at the back of the court.”
For the record, Federer downed a gallant Groth in four sets, leaving Nick Kyrgios as the only Aussie still standing.