Last week’s Vulcan Indoor National Championships proved to be yet another exciting event for the PPA’s 2023 season. With the league’s top-ranking players, Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns, absent from the competition, many other stars rose up and achieved their first gold-medal finish of the season.
However, a moment during the Men’s Doubles semifinals has taken the spotlight. After the match’s final point, Darrian “DJ” Young slammed his paddle into the ground, which took a bad bounce into the spectating fans.
Young and doubles partner Jay Devilliers were facing off against Pablo Tellez and Federico Staksrud in the semifinals when the paddle toss occurred. In a moment of frustration after losing the match, Young proceeded to spike his paddle into the ground.
Unfortunately, the paddle took a bad bounce and went flying into the stands. Young immediately went over to check on the fans, and luckily everyone was unharmed.
Young’s initiative to rush over to check on the crowd shows he immediately regretted his actions. He has since publicly apologized for his actions, claiming that he got wrapped up in his emotions and wasn’t thinking clearly when he threw his paddle.
“I want to apologize to all the people who were affected by this. There are a lot of emotions going out there when you’re playing pickleball professionally. There are no excuses, but I’ll be better. Again, sorry to everyone.”DJ Young
The PPA Tour announced that Young has since been fined for his actions. They claim that while they understand the passions of pro players, they can’t condone actions that potentially endanger PPA event staff and attendees.
“We understand that playing professional sports and caring about match outcomes brings a great deal of emotion and passion with it. While the PPA is supportive of the process of self-expression on-court, we cannot tolerate any behaviors that put the safety of others in danger.”PPA Tour’s statement regarding the paddle toss incident
The pickleball community has had mixed responses to the incident. While many agree that such actions should never endanger spectators, some think that the action doesn’t necessarily merit a fine and others think that it’s deserving of a suspension.
What are your thoughts on the incident? Let us know in the comments on our Instagram video!
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