As the US Open rages on in Flushing, New York, concerns were raised over the smell of cannabis on and around the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Earlier this week, Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari griped about the smell she picked up during a match at the event. A match that Sakkari lost in an upset to Rebeka Masarova of Spain. As the story has gained traction, a Fox News anchor weighed in with his assessment.

Brian Kilmeade, political commentator and co-host of Fox & Friends and The Brian Kilmeade Show on radio, chimed in on the matter. The Massapequa native expressed concern over patrons’ and otherwise’s usage of bongs and how it might affect the competitors.

“This actually affects your mind!” Kilmeade bellowed at his chair. “Do you want to, in the biggest tournament in your life, in matches that matter… do you want to have someone else’s decision to smoke pot affect that? The answer is no!”

“Welcome to New York. We thought hecklers were the biggest obstacle; now it’s people with bongs,” Kilmeade later bemoaned.

Cannabis is legal in the state of New York now for adults 21 years and older. That law was enacted in March 2021. A citizen in New York can “possess up to three ounces of cannabis, or up to 24 grams of concentrate,” according to the state’s laws.

Players have complained about the smell and its effects. The idea of secondhand smoke for cannabis – often referred to as “contact highs” – has frequently been debated. But you would have to be extremely close to the situation to become entangled in the drug’s effects.

So is it a legitimate annoyance? Probably. But as far as what can be done about it? The US Open could likely consider a cannabis ban on the premises, which could probably help matters. But one suggestion was made that the smell came from Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In that case? There’s really not a whole heck of a lot anybody can do there since it’s a public park, and the drug is now legalized. If it wasn’t on the US Open’s premises, then the US Open might not have any obligation to fix it.

[Justin Baragona]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022