‘It’s Absolutely Pathetic’ – ‘Superbrat’ John McEnroe Goes on a Wild and Sarcastic Rant Against ‘Cr*ppy’ Pickleball

Published 01/02/2023, 5:45 AM EST

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After the huge popularity explosion of pickleball throughout the United States, the sport has become a raging topic for debate around the globe. So much so that the 7-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe was labeled as a “pickleball convert”. In an interview with ABC News Radio, McEnroe shared his views about the sport. When Jason Nathanson, the correspondent, asked him about what he really thought about pickleball, McEnroe was not shy about expressing his opinions.

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McEnroe proceeded to confess that he does not like pickleball at all, but still plays it with his friends. He likes to give them the benefit of doubt, thinking that they can beat him in some games. Fans on Reddit have shared this video with the caption, “Johnny Mac gives pball the smack“.

Looks like John McEnroe has really thought this out

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In a virtual interview, Jason Nathanson asked McEnroe, “As somebody who has become a recent convert to pickleball, are you playing pickleball?”

McEnroe replied immediately without any hesitation, “You know, I’m not a convert to pickleball, I think it s*cks.” This caused both the host and McEnroe to laugh at the sincerity of his comment. McEnroe continued, “but you know, I play with my friends.”

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Naturally, the question is, if pickleball really ‘s*cks’ for John, why play it at all. The player has explained this in detail in his next comment. “Because you know, it is a level playing field, they think they can beat me, and I’m like ‘look, I still know something about angles and stuff’.” 

Now that must be a great moment for McEnroe’s pickleball playing friends. How often do you live to tell stories about defeating a Grand Slam champion  at a game somewhat similar to his own? However, McEnroe continued with his advice on pickleball.

He said, “Be careful because you’re way more susceptible to injury in that cr*ppy pickleball game than you are in tennis. So stick to tennis.” 

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McEnroe is of the belief that pickleball is an “absolutely pathetic” game. You do not need to turn your body or use your core or even bend your knees to hit the ball. McEnroe ended his comment with, “it’s absolutely pathetic, but besides that, it’s a great sport.” 

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Can pickleball exist alongside tennis?

At the end of the short clip, the correspondent asks McEnroe if he thinks pickleball is taking over tennis the way it has taken over tennis courts. McEnroe answers with a firm “no”.

While the pickleball debate has divided parents and pickleball enthusiasts into rifts over the past few months, the game has also become very popular with increasing controversy. With new laws from the authorities asking pickleball players to quit taking over tennis courts and children’s playgrounds, you would’ve expected the enthusiasm around the game to subside.

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Watch this story: Nick Kyrgios’ uncontrollable rant at the chair umpire in the Miami Open 2022

Instead, it has only brought players together to look for parks where people would not raise an objection to their DIY courts. After all, that’s what a good sport is- something that brings people together in the face of challenges and encourages good spirit!

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Written by:

Annesha Banerjee

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Annesha Banerjee is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in English. Her love for tennis and other sports is influenced by her mother, who was a remarkable athlete back in the day.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas

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