Kyle Chalmers' father has lashed out over the 'harassment' of his son at the Commonwealth Games and hit back at Johanna Griggs' claims about the supposed 'love triangle' saga.
Chalmers blasted the media scrutiny around his relationships with swimming teammates Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson earlier in the Games after being dogged by questions about the saga.
McKeon is now in a relationship with Simpson after splitting with Chalmers last year, sparking unfound rumours of a 'love triangle' in the Aussie team.
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Speaking to the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show on Mix 102.3 radio on Tuesday, Chalmers' father Brett broke down as he addressed the treatment his son has received.
“If it was in a workplace and you’re getting asked the same question over and over and over again, it’s a form of bullying and harassment,” he said.
“It’s not condoned and it’s not accepted. You’d be pulled into the manager’s office pretty fast and if you didn’t stop, you’d probably lose your job, where these people get away with it.
“They destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. It’s pretty hard.”
Brett Chalmers blasted Swimming Australia for not doing more to protect his son, while also bemoaning the attention on former pop star Simpson.
“They failed hugely and it does allow the media to dictate the questions and keep going on about it,” Brett said.
“They’ve failed to look after their athletes. The two other athletes who were in the relay (with Chalmers) sat there, and there were no other questions put to them at all. So you tell me, what is Swimming Australia doing about it?
“Yes, they’ve got a high-profile person (Simpson) that’s joined the sporting arena. Fantastic, that’s great. But hey, there’s more than one person in the team, as we know.
“They’ve got a rockstar that’s joined, but there’s a guy (Zac Stubblety-Cook) that swims in the breaststroke who is a world championship gold medallist, Olympic gold medallist, a world record holder and now a Commonwealth Games gold medallist. What have they said about him? Why isn’t he the poster boy?
“They don’t show that. They’ve jumped on the bandwagon of someone that swam as a junior, (has) gone away, come back. Fantastic that he’s made an Australian team, I take my hat off to him. But let’s concentrate on everyone else too. There’s more than one person or two people in the team.”
Kyle Chalmers' father hits back at Johanna Griggs
On Monday, Aussie swimming great Griggs suggested Chalmers was perpetuating the story by responding to it.
“He seems to be feeding it, which is the ironic situation with all these sorts of things," she said.
“You can’t just expect the headlines to always be great. You have to accept that occasionally they might be about other people and sometimes they may not necessarily show you in the same light."
However Brett wasn't having a bar of that suggestion.
“Kyle’s not the one mentioning it. That’s the hardest thing,” Brett said.
“Everywhere you look, it’s in the media. People like her (Griggs) are the ones that are bringing it up all the time.
“This whole, ‘Kyle’s getting back at Cody’. No it’s not. Kyle’s his own person, he’s an athlete that’s trained for three quarters of his life in swimming to get to where he is.
It’s been another golden day in the pool for our Australian swimmers in Birmingham as Kyle Chalmers silences his critics winning his third gold medal in the 100m freestyle while Paralympian Matt Levy also won gold in his final ever race. pic.twitter.com/tKSeBsd2AH
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) August 1, 2022
“Let’s put it to bed, get over it and let’s celebrate the successes our athletes make.
“Let’s just stop all the rubbish they talk about all the time with their personal lives. That’s their personal life.
"Do we ask Johanna Griggs about her personal life? Nah. Do we care about it? No. So why do we make it a big deal because it’s an athlete?”
Speaking after winning gold in the 100m freestyle on Monday night, Kyle Chalmers admitted it was 'hard to enjoy' because of the attention on his personal life.
"It's a bittersweet feeling for me," he admitted.
"Instead of enjoying the moment, it's almost a big sense of relief to be honest with you.
"I just hope no-one has to go through what I have had to go through over the last 48 hours.
"This last 48 hours has been hell. It has been an emotional roller coaster.
"Even speaking to my coach before the race, I almost started crying and I'm not an emotional person."
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