A London council has rejected a proposal to honour US Open champion Emma Raducanu, saying giving her the freedom of the borough could “embarrass her”.
Bromley, where Raducanu has lived since the age of two, voted in favour of monitoring “the ongoing dialogue between council officers, Emma and her family to agree a suitable celebration of her victory”.
Tony Owen, Bromley’s deputy mayor, defended the bureaucratic decision, saying: “We have written to the family and received a reply from her representative who said the family don’t really like a fuss.
“Clearly she has a great career ahead of her and we are very proud of her success. But we didn’t want to embarrass Emma. And we don’t want to embarrass ourselves, which it would be if she refused the award.”
Bromley council’s socialist group had proposed giving Raducanu the freedom of the borough.
Spokeswoman Angela Wilkins claimed some councillors had said they could not support giving Raducanu the award as she is only ranked 24th in the world.
She added: “I imagine Emma refusing to accept is highly unlikely to happen – even if she were to decline, at least we would have shown our support and recognition of her.
“Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Stirling in 2012 but didn’t actually receive it until 2014, presumably because of his busy diary. Our motion did not assume any award ceremony.
“There simply was no good reason not to agree the award and thereby show our support and recognition of Emma’s achievements.”