Snooker star Shaun Murphy received death threats following his controversial comments regarding amateur players. During a conversation with Soccer AM’s Tubes this week, Murphy commented on the fallout from the contentious comments on the makeup of the snooker tour.
“Any message I was trying to make, any point I was trying to make, got lost,” he said. “If you’re going to say something like that, you can’t say it having just lost, because you just sound like a bitter loser.
“As time’s gone on, the whole thing probably educated me a bit on my understanding of the tour. Maybe I was out of order for what I said, but I could never have envisaged how big the story was going to go.
“I was getting abused in the streets, I had death threats, it went mad. Who would have known that so many people had such fiery opinions on the makeup of the world snooker tour.”
Murphy previously shared what took place within 24 hours of making the comments and how it affected him. "I spent the first 24 hours locked in my hotel room fending off calls from all the news outlets." Murphy told The Metro. "I didn’t say it to generate interest, it wasn’t a line, it wasn’t clickbait, it’s something I felt genuinely about and I couldn’t believe how mad it went.
"Soon after I was on the motorway in traffic and there was a guy abusing me from his van next door. I was thinking, 'We were only talking about snooker, I’m not the prime minister!' It was all getting a bit much." The remarks came after the 39-year-old was dumped out of the UK Championship last November. He faced amateur star Si Jiahui in the first round and succumbed to a 6-5 defeat.
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Facing a 5-1 deficit, Murphy rallied to draw level at 5-5, but was beaten by the teenager in the deciding frame. Following the loss, Murphy slammed the inclusion of amateurs at professional events .
"It is not fair, it is not right," the 39-year-old told reporters after his match. "I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building. I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our living.
"We are self-employed individuals and not contracted sportsmen. We don’t play for a team." The 2005 world champion is currently gearing up for this year’s edition of the event, and will open his campaign on April 16, the tournament’s opening day.