Becker Back in the Headlines for all the Wrong Reasons

5wpr ceo - Becker Back in the Headlines for all the Wrong Reasons

It’s been decades since tennis sensation Boris Becker made international headlines. In those days, he was a phenom on the court, capturing the attention of tennis fans the world over as he won multiple Wimbledon titles. The recent mention of Becker in the headlines paints a very different picture.

Becker is embroiled in a bankruptcy case, and his attorneys are making what some are calling a highly unconventional argument: their client is immune to prosecution thanks to diplomatic immunity. The explanation for this argument hinges on how the courts view Becker’s time as an unpaid attache for the Central African Republic, a position Becker started back in April. Becker’s representatives say this role should protect him from having to face the bankruptcy actions.

While it’s a unique claim, some experts quoted by the Associated Press say the legal argument has decent standing. Mark Stephens said: “Central African Republic should be asked to revoke his immunity for this particular case because it relates to his personal activities and predates his appointment and in no way relates to his diplomatic function… That would let the court case proceed.”

It’s an interesting case for the courts to decide, and the timeline is key to the issue. Becker has lived in Britain for some time, and he declared for bankruptcy protection in 2017, long before he took the attache position. Becker has been very outspoken about the proceedings, accusing the courts of unjust actions and for allowing a “bunch of anonymous and unaccountable bankers and bureaucrats” to damage him. Calling the proceedings “a farce,” Becker vowed to fight and work to “rebuild my life.”

From a PR perspective, the unique argument, spiced up by the dramatic declarations and accusations coming from Becker, have proven to be an irresistible story for the news media. The more outrageous the nature of Becker’s accusations, the bigger and more prominent the headlines. That may not be the direction Becker wants this story to go.

For the most part, tennis fans remember his prowess on the court. This episode is adding a strange asterisk to Becker’s legacy. Instead of remembering him as a superstar and sports hero, headlines are redefining him as a man obsessed with finding a way to control legal proceedings he, himself started. If the actions had been managed in relative quiet, they may not have attracted so much attention. Now, though, they have, and it will take more than loud accusations and claims that the rules don’t apply to him for Becker to regain the narrative.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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