The Bromley council in London has decided not to award US Open winner Emma Raducanu with the freedom of the borough award, stating it does not want to embarrass the tennis superstar.
Raducanu, who won the US Open title as a qualifier last month, has lived in Bromley since the age of two. However, council representatives rejected calls for the 18-year old to be given the freedom of the borough award, which is the highest civic award a local authority can give.
"We have written to the family and received a reply from her representative who said the family don’t really like a fuss," said Deputy Mayor Tony Owen. "Clearly she has a great career ahead of her and we are very proud of her success. But we didn’t want to embarrass Emma. And we don’t want to embarrass ourselves, which it would be if she refused the award.”
Angela Wilkins, Bromley's Labor leader, claimed some councilors had said they could not support giving Raducanu the award as she is only ranked 24th in the world.
"I imagine Emma refusing to accept is highly unlikely to happen – even if she were to decline, at least we would have shown our support and recognition of her," explained Wilkins. “Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Stirling in 2012 but didn’t actually receive it until 2014, presumably because of his busy diary. Our motion did not assume any award ceremony.
“There simply was no good reason not to agree the award and thereby show our support and recognition of Emma’s achievements. If Emma wishes to attend an event to celebrate the award, this could be arranged at her convenience.”
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