BBC Wimbledon presenters John McEnroe and Sue Parker were criticized on Monday for showing support for Boris Becker on air.
The duo were part of the Grand Slam coverage when they exchanged sympathetic comments about the 54-year-old German former tennis player who is currently serving his two-and-a-half year sentence in Huntercombe prison.
“Boris, we love you. We miss you, man,” said McEnroe, to which Parker replied.
The BBC declined to comment after viewers criticized them for allowing the husband to “send compliments” to the “convicted criminal”. McEnroe said earlier this month that he would like to visit Baker in prison during Wimbledon.
– Neil McLeman (@NeilMcLeman) 27 June 2022
“Boris is a friend of mine,” he said.
“It’s just awful. I want to see him if I can and if he’s willing to see people. I just feel awful. He’s one of the great players who’ve ever played the game, and I know that meant a lot to Boris. He’s been through a lot for a long time.”
This wasn’t the first time a BBC presenter/announcer offered his support for Baker. Viewers also criticized Andrew Castle during the Queen’s Club Championship for her support of the German international.
“I had a real moment when I lost Boris,” he said. I know he’s in prison and I know why. Boris, we look forward to welcoming you back.”
Baker, a six-time Grand Slam winner, has been jailed for hiding £2.5m of assets and loans to avoid paying debts.