‘Epitome of ignorance’: US Tennis Association use ‘Nazi anthem’ during German encounter (VIDEO)
The US Tennis Association was left red-faced after part of the German national anthem used during the Nazi era was sung at the Fed Cup tournament in Hawaii. Germany’s Andrea Petkovic described it as “the worst thing that has ever happened to me."
The offensive first stanza has been banned in Germany since the end of the Second World War, but it was precisely those bars that were sung during the opening ceremony of the quarter final match on Saturday between the Alison Riske of the US and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Riske subsequently beat Petkovic, who described hearing the verse as the “epitome of ignorance" and that she had considered abandoning the game before it even started.
“I’ve never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup, and I’ve played Fed Cup for 13 years now and it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” she said, stressing “It’s 2017 – something like this simply should not happen in the United States.”
The USTA extends a sincere apology to the German Fed Cup team & fans 4 the outdated National Anthem. This mistake will not occur again. pic.twitter.com/4LyG3ACe5u— USTA (@usta) February 11, 2017
Petkovic’s teammates and traveling fans attempted to drown out the outdated tune by singing the correct “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” (Unity and justice and freedom) verse over the now frowned-upon Nazi version.
US Tennis Association uses text of German Nazi anthem at #FedCup 👎🏽— Shoshana (@MsGalathea) February 12, 2017
US tennis association is apparently run by idiots, how,do,you play the Nazi germany anthem instead of the reformed one ?— Andrew Brennan (@Andrewbrennan97) February 12, 2017
Germany’s coach, Barbara Ritter, was distraught saying: “This is an absolute scandal, a disrespectful incident and inexcusable, I could have sobbed. Hearing the national anthem at the Fed cup is a holy moment.”
The USTA has apologized for the gaffe, extending “its sincerest apologies to the German Fed Cup team and all of its fans for the performance of an outdated national anthem.”
“In no way did we mean any disrespect. This mistake will not occur again, and the correct anthem will be performed for the remainder of this first-round tie,” it said in a statement.
@DTB_Tennis We can assure you that it won't. Again, our sincere apologies.— USTA (@usta) February 11, 2017
German tennis federation chief Ulrich Klaus acknowledged the apology, but described the error as "both shocking and disturbing."
"The USTA through its president Katrina Adams has apologized officially in writing and in person and deeply regrets the blunder," Ulrich said in a statement.