Tennis star Boris Becker has accused a far-right German politician of trying to “trick” people after his son was targeted in a “racist” tweet.
The three-time Wimbledon champion accused AfD member of parliament Jens Maier of deliberately insulting his son Noah to appeal to his supporters.
A post on Mr Maier’s Twitter account labelled the 23-year-old a “little half-n*****”.
Amid claims that Mr Maier did not actually write the tweet himself, Becker responded in the pages of German newspaper Welt am Sonntag: “Now a party staff member is supposed to have written the tweet.
“That’s what the AfD always does; it’s their trick: put something out there in the world and then distance yourself from it.”
Becker accused Mr Maier of deliberately abusing his son for his own political advantage.
He said: “An AfD official like Jens Maier doesn’t say such things out of stupidity or fear”, adding that the tweet was designed to target those who would vote for him, who would “lap it up.”
Becker also called on the German public to fight against such comments.
“Racism can no longer be tolerated,” he said. “No one is punished, no one has to pay for it, and in the end, unfortunately, we hush it up. This must stop!”
Noah’s mother, Barbara Becker, was married to Boris from 1993 to 2001.
Bild newspaper reported on Thursday that Boris Becker was preparing to sue over Mr Maier’s comments.
His lawyer Christian-Oliver Moser told the newspaper: “I have been retained to quickly take the necessary steps under criminal and civil law against MP Jens Maier on the basis of this clearly racist tweet.”
Noah Becker told the German version of Vice magazine that it was far from the first time he had been called the word.
He said: “Something like that happens often – in the club or on the street. If the person is in front of me, then it hits me harder.
“Still, it is frustrating to see that people in positions of power today can still offend others like that. Others do it and it is scary.”
The post prompted an outcry on social media and has since been deleted.
According to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, sources from within the AfD party have claimed Maier regrets the tweet being posted and intends to apologise to Noah Becker.