ESPN abruptly halted its broadcast of Rafael Nadal’s trophy presentation at the U.S. Open on Monday night to begin pregame coverage of its late “Monday Night Football” game between the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. Enraged tennis fans took to Twitter to bash the network for the move.
At 10:14 p.m. ET, presentation emcee Bill Macatee cut-off Rafa’s interview mid-sentence. The first-time Open champion was then hastily given the winner’s check and trophy before the network quickly cut to Kansas City the instant Rafa hoisted the trophy in the air. There was no warning given to viewers and no alternate channel on which to watch the rest of the presentation.
This is a case of terrible treatment of Nadal, and even worse treatment for tennis fans – especially after a huge event like the U.S. Open.