top of page

ATP Chair Umpire FIRED over Interviews

(New York Times) By all accounts, (Damian) Steiner, a 44-year-old umpire from Argentina, acquitted himself well during that tense match, but he has since been fired by the ATP Tour, the men’s circuit, which has been his primary employer. Steiner was dismissed on Aug. 15 because he violated tour policies by giving a series of interviews to the news media in Argentina without authorization from the ATP. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Steiner was the first Argentine to serve as a chair umpire in a Grand Slam singles final, which led to substantial interest from the news media in his home country after Wimbledon. But according to the ATP, Steiner not only failed to seek permission from tour supervisors before he gave more than a dozen interviews, but he also delved into topics that would have been off-limits even if the ATP had granted permission.

Article Written by: Christopher Clarey

Now, it has always interested me to interview a professional chair umpire. Especially one that has been apart of a historic match such as a Wimbledon final. But according to the ATP, Steiner violated multiple rules which included speaking on rule changes that he would wish to see change. According to multiple reports, the 2019 US Open's goal was for officials to be more transparent with the media to clarify what happens during a match (especially since last years women's final incident).

Steiner, who was said to do a dozen interviews with local Argentinian media, mostly focused on the interviews on his background and how he got started in the world of the officiating. I have no problem with this. He was named director of Argentina Tennis national umpiring department and slowly built a reputation for himself. I get that he had to go through some protocols first with the ATP, but the media want to get to know what it is like to be apart of big moments in sports.

The ATP originally suspended Steiner when the news broke about the interviews. After reviewing the situation, the board decided that it was not enough to just suspend Steiner, so he was terminated from his ATP contract effective immediately. Was it the right decision?

bottom of page