Shaun Murphy caused a stir earlier in the week with his comments on amateur players after losing to Si Jiahui in the UK Snooker Championship. In response to Murphy's comments, snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan has shot back with a pointed response.
O'Sullivan took issue with Murphy's comments, and said that he and others who agreed with him should find a job elsewhere if they weren't happy with amateurs entering professional tournaments.
Ronnie O'Sullivan dismisses Murphy "amateur" stance
Shaun Murphy was fuming after losing in the opening round of the UK Snooker Championship to amateur player Si Jiahui earlier this week. Speaking to the BBC after the defeat, Murphy said that he felt that amateur players should not be allowed to enter professional tournaments and take potential winnings away from players depending on income. He said:
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.
He played like a man who does not have a care in the world, because he does not have a care in the world. It is not fair, it is not right. I am not picking on him as a young man, he deserved his victory. Amateurs should not be allowed in professional tournaments, the end.
2005 World Champion Murphy was backed by Marks Selby and Williams for his stance on amateur players - but Ronnie O'Sullivan has now joined the conversation, and he firmly disagrees with Murphy's stance.
After Selby and Williams both defended Murphy and agreed that it was unfair for amateur players to play alongside them, O'Sullivan came out firing. The six-time world champion spoke on Thursday and pulled no punches in tearing down the Murphy's comments. He said:
I hope it gets worse, honestly. I hope it gets worse for them. They better start looking for a job if they don't like it.
I drew a line under it a long time ago. I can change what I do, that’s what I’m saying to Murphy, go and get a job, do something else, play snooker for fun because you’re going to have loads more of that.
Get your head around it, you’ve got choices to make. Five or six years ago I made a real conscious effort to play for fun and just enjoy it. I went and got a job and played this for a hobby.
It's alright playing it as a hobby - if I had to play it as me living, I'd be like Shaun Murphy, in bits.
I don’t care. I’ll play amateurs, women, referees, anyone, I don’t care. I feel like the amateur playing now, you have to get in that mindset because it’s better that way.