Tennys Sandgren has found himself at the center of a controversy entirely of his doing, thanks to his social media activity. He's tweeted at and retweeted some fairly well-known alt-right trolls, including Mike Cernovich and Alex Jones, and found many of their claims compelling if not outright true. In one tweet he called the Pizzagate fantasy—in which coded messages found in hacked emails revealed a Washington D.C. pizza joint was a front for a Clinton-backed child sex ring—"sickening," finding the evidence "too much to ignore."
Sandgren was the last American standing at the Australian open until today, when his improbable run through the tournament ended. The wheels were already falling off the wagon on Monday, however, when he came under fire for his tweets after his win over the No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem. Asked about it in a post-match press conference, Sandgren laughed it off as unimportant and not representative of his views, but then later deleted his Twitter history. The internet then got to work and dragged up whole bunch of racist, nationalist, and sexist tweet screenshots.
Then after losing to Hyeon Chung this morning, he decided to launch into this incomprehensible rant:
Aside from sounding like that "mind-blowing" goth teen in the back of a sophomore English class, Sandgren comes across as extremely anti-press freedom here, and very pro researching "alternative viewpoints." Like a less endearing and more dangerous Kyrie Irving. Here's the part where he just implores you to open your mind a little bit:
"You would rather perpetuate propaganda machines instead of researching information from a host of angles and perspectives while being willing to learn, change, and grow."
You would think retweeting the likes of Cernovich and Jones would fall under "perpetuat[ing] propaganda machines," but let's examine a couple of those "angles and perspectives" shall we?
You can start with the Pizzagate theorizing, sure. But here's Sandgren hollering back at a Pepe The Frog, MAGA enthusiast with an #americafirst hashtag (thanks to the diligent screenshotter @dropshotsgalore):
But that's just some random stranger, you say. Not like he's associating with any well known person who actively participated in the Neo-Nazi, white nationalist march in Charlottesville. Oh, wait:
And here's what apparently happened to him when he once went to a gay bar:
Here's the obligatory "Hitler wasn't as bad as" comparison:
Just in case you thought he was only bordering on racism:
But then the internet found out about when he went after the GOAT:
It's really pretty impossible to put the pieces of the puzzle together here. Is Sandgren an alt-right supporting white nationalist? We'll let you decide. For now, it's probably best to follow Serena's lead from earlier when his match started: