Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini apologizes for anti-gay slur

Olympics

Fabio Fognini, of Italy, throws his racket during a third round men’s tennis match against Daniil Medvedev, of the Russian Olympic Committee, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

TOKYO (AP) — Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini has apologized for yelling at himself with a homphobic slur during a loss at the Tokyo Games.

Fognini used the offensive Italian word repeatedly during the three-set defeat to Russian athlete Daniil Medvedev in the third round on Wednesday.

Fognini writes in an Instagram story that the extremely hot conditions “affected his head” and that he “used a really stupid expression toward myself.”

He adds that “obviously I didn’t want to offend anyone’s feelings” and that “I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that I let out.”

The Instagram story was written on a rainbow background.

The often volatile Fognini was kicked out of the U.S. Open doubles tournament in 2017 for vulgarly insulting the chair umpire during his first-round loss in singles.

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