Hotel owner’s answer to US Open blowback: ‘I’m going to have nine million death threats’
‘I’m going to have nine million death threats’: Shelby Rogers braces for social media abuse after US Open loss
After losing her first match at the US Open, Shelby Rogers felt she was “totally f**ked”. The 24-year-old Austin, Texas, native then started receiving some uncomfortably personal social media messages.
“I have nine million death threats on my phone right now,” Rogers told CNN. “I’m just gonna have to deal with it.”
“F**k you, you tranny c*nt,” the messages said.
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It was, she said, typical of all the venom aimed at her, something she has lived with since she lost to 29th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday afternoon.
Rogers started receiving threats after her the Rogers Tennis Academy posted her winning and losing scores during her rookie run at Flushing Meadows. The posts were swiftly removed but by that point someone had leaked a photo of the page.
Many comments were aimed at the academy, which is located in Euless, Texas, and employs about 70 people, she said.
Shelby Rogers (@shelbyhrogers) I feel so so embarrassed today that I had to find out about this from the internet (pretty lame sure somebody stole the link) https://t.co/C2SaeYmDPu
“I have this win and this match and I won it 7-6, 7-6, 6-1,” Rogers said. “People don’t realize that the people [at the academy] worked for a month to get this happening. So now they’re dealing with this.”
A hotline for verified fans has been set up and messages have been redirected to an office in Austin where her management team is working.
Shelby Rogers (@shelbyhrogers) We’ve put up a legit address for verification only. If you want, call now #ILLEXPERIENCEINVISIBLE#USOpen pic.twitter.com/UNOGUhvciV
“I’m not sure how we’re going to deal with this,” she said. “We’re like, ‘you said you didn’t go here or that you didn’t follow us’.
“But we’re trying to be here for this person. This is going to be difficult but we’re gonna do whatever we can.”
Rogers initially defended her team before coming to a decision that “not everything on the internet is completely worth it”.
Shelby Rogers (@shelbyhrogers) I’m not gonna let them win and take my life away from me or everything that I work for. I know they don’t respect me because I’ll beat their asses every single time but it doesn’t mean I can’t stay and work for them.
The Austin stopover was the first stop of Rogers’ pre-US Open training trip to Europe. She had hoped to continue to use the lessons she had been learned over the last two years, in which she made a spot in the main draw at every tournament.
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However she was the first of only two American women to make it that far, in a year that has already seen Madison Keys advance to the Wimbledon final.
Asked if she would like to play more events on home soil, she said: “When I grew up in North Carolina and Texas, for me there was no question to want to play more American tournaments,” Rogers said. “But it’s not like I’m only playing a handful of those. I play a variety of those. I don’t play just grand slams.”