Emma Raducanu makes the mistake of mixing politics with tennis

Playing professional sports can cause one's like to be insular, but Raducanu took that one step further recently.
Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon 2024
Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon 2024 / Francois Nel/GettyImages

Emma Raducanu clearly must practice tennis quite a bit. Or maybe she is too busy making commercials or filling whatever need her sponsors have. One thing appears clear and that is that Raducanu is somewhat generally unaware of the world around her.

The 2021 US Open champion is currently in her run at Wimbledon where she easily won her first two matches and will play Maria Sakkari in the third round on Friday. One can assume Raducanu is aware she has a match. What she didn't seem to know in a recent press conference was that her home country has a major event happening.

The UK will hold a general election on Thursday and the result will change the near-future course of the nation for several years. Raducanu is old enough to vote, but she probably does not know much about the candidates as she didn't know about the election itself. Possibly, one is better off not voting if they are going to make an uninformed decision.

Emma Raducanu puts foot firmly in mouth about UK general election

But this isn't about voting and who to vote for. The problem wasn't only that the player did not know about the election, but that she doubled down on how she felt about the vote. She doesn't care. While she has that right, she should also know that she influences young people and maybe she should have taken the high road in answering whether she would vote or not.

Raducanu told the press, "I didn’t even know (the election) was (Thursday), to be honest. Thanks for letting me know." And instead of going to vote, she answered, "I think I’ll have a lie-in, then I’ll come to practice."

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Some of that last part is fair. She does have to practice, of course. After struggling through a couple of years of injuries, Raducanu seems to be rounding back into the kind of form that allowed her to win her major. But one can care about tennis and about their nation as well.

She is a generally well-liked player and person. Her admission about not knowing about the election was a misstep, and her saying she'd rather sleep than vote made her look worse. Her public relations team will likely be having a talk with her soon.

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