People are furious with John Humphrys after his interview with Johanna Konta

Louis Dor
Tuesday 18 July 2017 09:00
sport

On the Today show on Radio 4 this morning, veteran journalist John Humphrys interviewed Johanna Konta, the British tennis player ranked number 4 in the world, following her performance at Wimbledon.

It's been widely condemned as condescending to the player who became the fourth British woman to enter the top five in the game, and the best British performance at SW19 for 39 years in the women's singles.

Humphrys said in the introduction:

She did it at the grand old age of 26 which raises the obvious question, why?

She's on the line to answer that question now - You've been in tennis an awfully long time, you started playing as a youngster, you were dead keen but it took you an awfully long time to break through didn't it? Why?

Konta replied:

Um, well I think that's part of every athlete's journey, nothing happens overnight and there's definitely a lot of time on the court, trying to be the best that I can be, and I guess this was my journey.

Humphrys then questioned whether she was psychologically "in the right place" on the court, to which Konta said she actually enjoyed being on "the big stage" and that she hoped to be playing on it "for many years".

Humphrys said:

Well what are you, 26, now?

Konta replied, pointedly:

I am, 26, yes. 26 years young.

To which Humphrys replied:

We've got a great champion at the moment, a great men's champion who's probably going to go on till he's about 80, haven't we?

Konta repled:

Well, if his body holds up as every athletes hopes, everyone plays as long as they can.

Humphrys then asked:

You talked about moving continents, that's the thing, I mean we talk about about you being British but you were born in Hungary, Australian citizenship and I seem to remember that the Australian high commissioner, when you won the quarter finals, said 'Great to see an Aussie win!', and we were saying 'Great to see a Brit win!', so what are you?

Konta laughed briefly, before saying:

I was actually born in Australia, to Hungarian parents, but I've lived half my life here now, almost. I am a British citizen and I am incredibly proud to represent Great Britain. I have done so officially since 2012, but definitely I have personally since I moved here in 2005. I've also represented Great Britain at the Olympics so I'm definitely a British athlete.

Humphrys then asked a question about how she had progressed from ranking 388th in Australia as a junior to a top tier player.

That's not entirely accurate either, actually I won under 12s nationals in Australia as a youngster so I was definitely one of the best in the country.

People noticed the interview was very, very awkward:

indy100 has contacted the BBC Press Office for comment on the interview.

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