Nick Kyrgios has officially pulled out of the US Open, calling on the tennis world to “take a breath” and consider the importance of human life.

To his absolute credit, Kyrgios has been a voice of reason throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, holding other players accountable for their actions.

In a video message released today, he said: “Dear Tennis let us take a breath here and remember what is important, which is health and safety as a community.”

“We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost.”

He continued:

“I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely. No one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works at the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants. These are the people that need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.”

Putting some of his fellow players on blast for their selfishness, Kyrgios continued:

“Tennis players, you have to act in the interests of each other and work together. You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting the next exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once. That’s what this virus is about. It doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.”

He thanked those players who have been “observing the rules and acting selflessly,” telling those who wish to participate in the upcoming US Open to play at their own risk, but confirming that he will not be competing.

He ended by saying:

“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing at one of the sports’ greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium. But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans who have lost their lives. For all of you. It is my decision, like it or not, and those are my reasons.”

You can see Nick Kyrgios read his statement below:

Image: Getty Images / Sam Tabone