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Tennis Player Wears Rainbow Gear After Using Antigay Slurs at the Olympics

Tennis Player Wears Rainbow Gear After Using Antigay Slurs at the Olympics

Fabio Fognini blamed Tokyo's hot weather for his homophobic outbursts — now he's donning rainbows.

Fabio Fognini blamed Tokyo's hot weather for his homophobic outbursts — but now he's sporting rainbows.

It was all rainbows in Canada for Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini this week following his homophobic outburst last month at the Olympics.

While he was shouting anti-gay slurs during a match at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in late July, Monday was a different story as Fognini was sporting three different rainbow accessories at the ATP 1000 tennis tournament in Toronto: a rainbow headband and two rainbow wristbands.

Fognini posted pics of himself wearing the rainbow sweatbands to his Instagram with the hashtag #loveforall along with a rainbow emoji.

A post to Twitter from a different user showed a clip of Fognini walking onto the court decked out in rainbows.

Most of the comments on his own Instagram post were positive, but Fognini took a beating on the Twitter video post, with some questioning whether the rainbow sweatbands were meant to show solidarity with and contrition to the LGBTQ+ community, or just to soak up the negative press he received following his anti-gay outburst in the heat of his third-round match against Russian Olympics Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev last month in temperatures that reportedly hovered near triple digits.

"Cringe," one commenter wrote on Twitter.

Another suggested in Italian slang that Fognini was using the rainbows to cover his backside.

During his heated Olympics match, a clearly frustrated Fognini repeatedly yelled an anti-gay slur at himself. He also threw his racket and removed his shirt to cool himself throughout the match. His opponent, Medvedev, required medical attention when he nearly fainted from the heat during play, but he was able to complete the match and defeat Fognini in three sets.

Fognini apologized a short time later via an Instagram story, saying the heat had gone to his head.

"In today's match I used a really stupid expression towards myself," Fognini wrote in a statement posted on his Instagram Story at the time. "Obviously I didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities. I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that came out of me."

Fabio Fognini blamed Tokyo's hot weather for his homophobic outbursts \u2014 now he's donning rainbows.

The 34-year-old Fognini, currently ranked number 15 in the world in singles and also an accomplished doubles player, has run afoul of court etiquette and decorum earlier in his career. In 2017, the clay specialist was kicked out of the U.S. Open doubles tournament for repeatedly insulting the chair umpire during an earlier loss in the first round of singles competition. He has also been suspended from two Grand Slam events.

RELATED | Here Are All the LGBTQ+ Olympians Who Won Medals at the Tokyo Games

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