'So upset': Paige Spiranac hits out at Masters 'racism' backlash

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured left, social media star Paige Spiranac and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama on the right.
Paige Spiranac's response to Hideki Matsuyama's Masters win has been labelled racist by some people on social media. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Social media star Paige Spiranac has launched a fiery response to criticism that her Tweet about Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was racist.

Matsuyama became Japan's first ever winner of a men's major golf title after holding off American rookie Will Zalatoris to claim the green jacket at Augusta National by one stroke.

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The milestone victory was also just the second time any male player from Asia has lifted a major trophy, making Matsuyama the toast of a nation.

Spiranac - an avid follower of golf after a successful career as an amateur player - was among the many around the world to hail the Japanese star after his historic feat.

However, the American Instagram star - who has more than three million followers on social media - faced ugly backlash after making a comment about one of the time-honoured traditions at the Masters.

Before the iconic major gets underway each year it's tradition for the previous winner to host a dinner party for past champions with a menu curated by that player.

With that tradition in mind, Spiranac couldn't help but share her enthusiasm for what next year's dinner would entail.

The 'Playing A Round' podcast host said: "The menu for the champions dinner is going to be absolute fire next year".

Some critics on social media accused Spiranac of being racist, presumably because she assumed that Matsuyama's menu would consist of Japanese food.

Paige Spiranac is seen here standing on the green of a golf course.
Paige Spiranac has angrily denied suggestions that her Masters remark was racist. Pic: Instagram

Responding to the backlash, Spiranac posted a number of follow-up tweets claiming "it’s disgusting how everything gets twisted.” 

“I made a comment about how amazing the menu will be next year because I love Japanese food. Most winners create menus to honour where they are from and I would expect Hideki to do the same,” Spiranac said.

The American received plenty of support from fans on social media, but stressed that while she's used to copping plenty of hate from people online, she drew a line at being accused of racism.

“I don’t care if someone calls me a slut but to be called a racist is uncalled me [sic]. I would never and I’m honestly so upset about this.”

Star's low-key response to life-changing win

The uproar came as Japan celebrated its newest national hero, with growing speculation that Matsuyama could be chosen to light the cauldron at the Olympics opening ceremony in the Japan National Stadium on July 23.

Matsuyama is finalising his plans but is likely to be in the country at that time as a member of Japan's golf team six days before the Olympic men's competition starts on July 29.

Seen here, the putt that clinched Hideki Matsuyama's 2021 Masters triumph.
Hideki Matsuyama celebrates winning the 2021 Masters. Pic: Getty

Even though his historic Masters win catapulted Matsuyama into the status of Japanese superstar, the 29-year-old was still seen quietly waiting to board a flight out of an Atlanta airport, with his precious green jacket draped over the back of a chair.

Matsuyama was there for an early-morning flight to Chicago, a brutal turnaround from Sunday night's celebrations since Augusta is two hours from the Atlanta airport. 

And while the green jacket is arguably the most iconic and treasured piece of clothing a golf star could dream of, Matsuyama casually lugged it around with him before boarding a commercial flight.

The humble Japanese star's brilliantly low-key response to his win soon went viral on social media.

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