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Be On The Lookout For Unruly Croatians At The Australian Open – They Might Be Nazis

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“Croatian tennis thugs,” which was how they are referred to by New York Daily News staff writer Neil Nagraj – am I the only one who thought “tennis” and “thugs” were mutually exclusive terms? – caused quite a stir at Day 1 of the Australian Open. Armed with flares and reportedly making Nazi salutes, the unruly mob made their presence known in Melbourne Park, harassing fans and allegedly even attacked a Melbourne Herald Sun photographer in the process.

Eleven of the fans were ultimately ejected from the match for “causing problems for other spectators at the ground,” a stadium official, Jock Menzel, told the paper.  At least one was written up for sneaking flares past security into the stadium.

At least two of the thugs are facing a murder trial, the Herald Sun reports, and are known to promote right-wing propaganda.

The goons were quickly condemned by the premier of Victoria, John Brumby, who called their behavior a national embarassment in an interview on Australian radio.

If we cannot enjoy a peaceful day of Grand Slam tennis without a crowd of malcontents upsetting the natural order of things with Nazi salutes and flare-throwing – on this occasion, by these so-called “Croatian tennis thugs” – who can also be apparently referred to as “goons,”  incidentally, what hope is there for an everlasting peace in this crazy world? For shame, Croatian goons who engage in Nazi-themed tennis thuggery.

australian open

Croatian tennis thugs flash Nazi salutes at Australian Open, menace fans with flares [New York Daily News]