Australian player-turned commentator Jelena Dokic at the 2012 Australian Open Photo: AFP
tennis

Commentator Dokic hits out at 'fat-shaming' trolls at Australian Open

18 Comments

Player-turned commentator Jelena Dokic lashed out Monday at the "disgusting" body-shaming she has endured online while working at the Australian Open.

The Australian, who rose to a career-high world ranking of four in 2002, has been conducting on-air interviews at Melbourne Park after players win matches.

But the 39-year-old, who has been open in the past about her experiences with family violence and mental health, said she had repeatedly come in for online abuse over her weight.

"The 'body shaming' and 'fat shaming' over the last 24 hours has been insane," she wrote on Instagram.

She said it came from all over the world, but particularly Serbia. She was born in Croatia and has a Serbian father.

"And yes a lot of them are women too. So much for 'women supporting women'," she added.

Dokic, who last year revealed she nearly committed suicide, said the abuse was "evil and disgusting".

"The most common comment being 'what happened to her, she is so big'?" she wrote. "I will tell you what happened, I am finding a way and surviving and fighting. And it really doesn't matter what I am doing and what happened because size shouldn't matter.

"What matters is your online abuse, bullying and fat shaming. That's what matters because those of you that do it are just evil, bad, mean and ignorant people."

Dokic sprang to prominence at Wimbledon in 1999 when she stunned world number one Martina Hingis in the first round.

She won six WTA singles titles during her career and reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2000, but struggled for years to escape the influence of her volatile father Damir.

They endured a well-documented split and she tumbled down the rankings.

The family rift followed a series of bizarre episodes including Damir being banned from the All England Club at Wimbledon and at one point claiming his daughter had been kidnapped.

© 2023 AFP

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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The liberals that tell you that we have an epidemic of obesity in America and we need soda taxes and restrictive laws and regulations on food are the same liberals telling fat people that it is OK to be fat and to love yourself. Typical.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

She has put a few pounds on since retirement, but then again so has Lendl. Johnny Mac still seems slim, despite being retired nearly 30 years.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It is undeniable that she has put on a significant amount of weight since her playing days, much more so than the average retired player. They all add a little weight when they stop training. She has allowed herself to become dangerously unhealthy by being so overweight. It is hardly an example for anyone to emulate. She has every right to do as she see's fit, including to become obese. It is much easier to put weight on than to take it off once it is there. She will have high blood pressure, face diabetes and other health issues associated with her high weight.

Rather than fat shaming, people should encourage her to get fit and lose weight if she wants to. Provide support not derision. She has a good tennis brain and is a good commentator, but by putting herself in front of the camera in her current state invites people to comment on the difference in her weight from her playing days. It is no doubt shocking for some to see her as she is today. People can be cruel in their comments, a sad fact of the internet and social commentary.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The other day I came across an interview with her three years ago on Ozzie TV. She'd lost a lot of weight and looked stunning, so I was shocked that she'd gained all the weight back. Th French player, Bartoli, also suddenly gained a lot of weight when she retired. They shouldn't change just to satisfy other people. and fat-shaming them for their appearance isn't right. But people have to think about their health. Being obese is not healthy. And health is the number one reason why obese people should lose weight. Anyway, Dokic suffered a lot under her father.

I also remember her win over Hingis. But this came after Hingis' mental breakdown and humiliation at the 1999 French Open Final, when after months of taunting and disrespecting Steffi Graf, and showing no sportsmanship during the match, going over to the other side, arguing with the umpire and managers, lost the match when she was close to winning. It gave me great pleasure to see Dokic beat her a few weeks later.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

She has put a few pounds on since retirement, but then again so has Lendl. Johnny Mac still seems slim, despite being retired nearly 30 years.

Mac still has the wiry body of a teen. Lendl has added weight, but nothing outrageous for a 62 year-old.

Dokic is still a young 39, no doubt wealthy, and could slay many of her demons by getting back in shape.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I can just about guarantee the great majority of these trolls - men and women - are in bad shape and weigh more than Dokic. And have never achieved anything of note in their lives!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Frankly, we need to stop normalising obesity. Being fat is not healthy. Obviously, there is no need to abuse people (either men or women... there is no difference because you are one of the two genders). But, taking personal control of your health and your weight is important.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Being vulgar and beastly to the obese is wrong and will possibly lead to them comfort eating and becoming depressed. They need motivation, some can do but others need a helping hand.

The body positivity movement which is a big thing in the West is terrible and encourages poor health and ultimately an early death.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

If people are overweight, so what? You might have stupid-looking hair, a daft accent or a squint... if people took the mick out of you that would be bad, wouldn't it? - but it's okay to make fun of fat people.

Get a life and stop insulting other people just to make yourself feel better. Concentrate on sorting your own life out and just... mind your own business.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"The most common comment being 'what happened to her, she is so big'?" she wrote. 

Not saying it wasn't their intent but I think if the ones who made this comment were really out to maliciously shame her they would use stronger language.

I hope she can accept her figure and not be ashamed of her body.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mac still has the wiry body of a teen. 

only because of all the beak he's putting up his hooter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You might have stupid-looking hair, a daft accent or a squint.

Guilty as charged on all counts.

I'm a bit of a fat twat too. Get the jibes. Love it. Can give as good as I get.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Being vulgar and beastly to the 

"Beastly"?

I feel like i have just gone back 50 years and reading an Enid Blyton book!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The liberals that tell you that we have an epidemic of obesity in America

The Americans are generally very very very fat though compared with most nations.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The liberals that tell you that we have an epidemic of obesity in America

You're saying it's not true?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The internet trolls will keep coming. Telling them what to do is not recommended.

It's true that people do put a face to a name, and there tends to be is a reaction when the "face" does not align.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most sports stars and athletes put on weight after they retire. It's what happens when you end a lengthy and punishing fitness regime.

Obesity is bad for your health and shortens your life, but targeting individuals is abusive and unpleasant.

Bizarrely her weight seems to have been weaponised as part of the toxic political situation in the Balkans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But the 39-year-old, who has been open in the past about her experiences with family violence and mental health

She has other issues she has to deal with, that can keep her from losing weight

The liberals that tell you that we have an epidemic of obesity in America

You're saying it's not true?

Most of the fat ones are in the southern and middle states. The leanest states are in the coasts like NY, Washington, and California

"Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps"

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity:

Mississippi - 40.80%

West Virginia - 39.70%

Arkansas - 37.40%

Oklahoma - 36.80%

Kentucky - 36.50%

Tennessee - 36.50%

Alabama - 36.10%

Michigan - 36.00%

Louisiana - 35.90%

South Carolina - 35.40%

Those states should take care of their own first

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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