Christos Kyrgios has spoken out on the impact jokes like Chris Rock's have on the alopecia community, referencing the recent suicide of a 12-year-old girl who was bullied for her hair loss.
The brother of Canberra tennis star Nick Kyrgios responded to the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Academy Awards by reminding people about the impact of such jokes like Rock's.
He shared an image on Instagram of 12-year-old Rio Allred and shared his own experience with alopecia on Tuesday. Allred took her own life in the US this month due to bullying because of her autoimmune disease, which left her bald.
Kyrgios called out the bullying, and the comments people with alopecia - like Jada Pinkett Smith who has alopecia - face daily.
He said he did not condone violence, but he understood the anger driving Smith to slap Rock.
"I have alopecia universalis, an uncommon form of alopecia areata, involving hair loss over the entire scalp and body. I have had this condition since early on in my life and all of my friends that know me, know me as this," he wrote on social media.
"Everyday there are children just like Rio being bullied and harassed. They cry themselves to sleep. Daily effects include depression, anger, anxiety, low self esteem, embarrassment, guilt, shame and the list goes on.
Rock and Smith made headlines on Monday during the awards ceremony, after Rock made a comment about Pinkett Smith's bald appearance referencing the movie G.I Jane.
The broadcast showed her rolling her eyes, her husband then took to the stage and slapped Rock before verbally berating him.
Kyrgios is one of many to react online about the incident, representing a response from his community as about two per cent of Australians have alopecia.
He has previously spoken to The Canberra Times about the bullying he faced growing up, including the day a woman ripped off his hat to make fun of his bald head.
He was diagnosed at a young age with the disease, and has since become an ambassador for the Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation to spread awareness about it, and encourage confidence for children and youth with it.
"I have accepted it and don't be fooled," he wrote.
"I still receive the 'you look like you have cancer' messages on the daily, probably at a higher clip because my family is often in the spotlight.
"I have thick skin, and try to shine bright for those that can't."
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