I have to say I am sad and disappointed in the lack of noise from the ATP in Pride Month. Before beginning to write this I didn’t wait until the end of the month because almost three weeks of silence was pretty damning. It’s the 18th of June as I begin writing this, do I think between now and the first of January we will see something posted on social media? No I don’t.
It is now Friday the 25th of June and still nothing… its Pride Month, why is the main body in Men’s tennis not using its platform to reach out to LGBT fans and promote the sport and inclusion for all?
Tennis is a sport followed by millions all over the world and has a huge LGBT following and to have shown some awareness would have been fantastic for the sport, players and fans, silence doesn’t help.
Just last year days before Pride Month the ATP issued an apology for a video they posted. It was a video of someone imitating how players play and one was called “The Sissy” the ATP said:
“We would like to apologise for an ill-judged retweet over the weekend, which contained offensive language to the LGBTQ+ community and was subsequently deleted. Such language has no place in today’s society or the inclusive environment that we strive for in our sport.”
If you strive for it soo much, why aren’t you raising more awareness and vocally supporting LGBTQ+ community in Tennis and the wider tennis world?
It shouldn’t matter that there aren’t any openly gay men playing tennis, it’s not just about now but making the game and sport comfortable for those in the future showing them they can be themselves and do and follow the sport they love.
Just recently a player on the Challenger Tour was fined just €1500 for using homophobic language during a match twice.
I have to say I just feel let down by mens tennis.
I have to however give huge respect as ever to the WTA who celebrated Pride Month with information, stories of those who are part of the LGBTQ+ family players from past and present players and emphasising and supporting people to be themselves.
They updated their website and social media channels with imagery and led with a tagline of:
Be Open, Be Happy, Be Strong, Be Confident & Be You
It is now July the 4th and nope, there was nothing!
It isn’t just mens tennis it was men’s football and in particular UEFA who were investigating German keeper Manuel Neuer for wearing a rainbow armband and then realising it was for Pride and dropped investigation.
This is the same UEFA who then voiced their support for an ‘equal game’ they said: “UEFA respects the rainbow. It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.” and then told Volkswagen they aren’t allowed to use rainbow advertising in Russia or Azerbaijan.
Remember that UEFA threatened to start fining players if they move sponsors drinks bottles in Press Conferences, what Is their priority? Money or ‘equal game’ ?
Publishing on July the 18th, Unfortunately, mens tennis and football should have done better.