'Go and get a job' - Ronnie O'Sullivan responds to Shaun Murphy's amateur player comments
"They better start looking for a job if they don’t like it."
Ronnie O'Sullivan has said that Shaun Murphy may need to "go and get a job" if he doesn't like playing against amateurs in professional snooker tournaments.
Murphy made headlines earlier this week after he lost to amateur Si Jiahui in the first round of the UK Championships and he criticised the involvement of amateurs in the competition.
The former world champion said his 19-year-old Chinese opponent "shouldn’t even be in the building."
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) November 24, 2021
Shaun Murphy: Amateur players shouldn't be allowed in UK Championship.
"I am going to sound like a grumpy old man but that young man shouldn’t be in the tournament," Murphy told BBC Radio 5 Live after his 6-5 defeat in York.
"It is not fair, it is not right... I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building. I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our living."
The English snooker player also appeared to suggest that his opponent had an advantage because he is not a professional and therefore didn't have the same pressure on him to win.
O'Sullivan, however, has no sympathy for him and has told him to "get a job" if he doesn't like playing against amateurs.
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Shaun Murphy should get another job if he doesn't like playing against amateurs.
The six-time world champion said that the emphasis is on Murphy to change his "mindset" towards professional snooker, rather than on the sport's governing body to prevent amateurs from competing in professional tournaments.
The World Snooker Tour allows amateur players to enter the UK Championship via the "top-up" system as a replacement for any of the 128 professionals who are unable to take part in the tournament.
"I hope it gets worse, honestly. I hope it gets worse for them,” O’Sullivan said after his first-round victory over Michael White at the UK Championship.
"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."
O'Sullivan: Snooker is a hobby for me.
O'Sullivan also said that he now views professional snooker as a "hobby", which enables him to enjoy competing in the sport. The 45-year-old said he is willing to play against anyone in tournaments, amateur or professional.
"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," he said.
“You’ll never hear me talk like that because it’s a hobby, but when it means something to you then it can hurt.
"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.
"I remember being an amateur playing a pro, Willie Thorne playing a 14-year-old me, it was embarrassing for him to lose to me, so I know what it feels like to be a favourite and to lose but that’s just how it is."