Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Interesting question – relatively new here, so not sure if it's been discussed in length yet.

Following some notable instances of players of other major (and, relatively speaking, more popular) sports come out recently – Robbie Rogers, Michael Ssam – it has to be only a matter of time until it happens in tennis.

Or will it take a while? It seems like, if it happens anytime soon, it will be pretty shocking.

But back to my original question – does the first male player to come out stand more to gain (potential sponsorships, notoriety, pop culture reverence, new fans) or to lose (potentially lost sponsorships, backlash from fellow players, bigotry)?

I think (and hope) that he stands more to gain. And I really hope the day comes soon. I honestly think if Jan-Michael Gambill had been born a decade or so later, this would be a moot point and we'd be seeing the effects already. I think he'd have the courage to come out in today's environment, where gay rights and gay icons have become much more prominent in the political and pop culture spheres.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,216 Posts
Depends on how he handles it. If he has a group of friends that can support him then he won't mind the enormous amount of bitches in the circuit that will be unpleasant towards him (it's no secret that tennis players are dumber than the average), and if he's likeable and good-looking he could get some nice cash from sponsors. No player will dare to criticize him for being gay though, he'd be known as a nasty jerk until the last day of his life, kinda like Tipsarevic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts
Interesting question – relatively new here, so not sure if it's been discussed in length yet.

Following some notable instances of players of other major (and, relatively speaking, more popular) sports come out recently – Robbie Rogers, Michael Ssam – it has to be only a matter of time until it happens in tennis.

Or will it take a while? It seems like, if it happens anytime soon, it will be pretty shocking.

But back to my original question – does the first male player to come out stand more to gain (potential sponsorships, notoriety, pop culture reverence, new fans) or to lose (potentially lost sponsorships, backlash from fellow players, bigotry)?

I think (and hope) that he stands more to gain. And I really ,hope the day comes soon. I honestly think if Jan-Michael Gambill had been born a decade or so later, this would be a moot point and we'd be seeing the effects already. I think he'd have the courage to come out in today's environment, where gay rights and gay icons have become much more prominent in the political and pop culture spheres.
this is as sexist and wrong as if you said you hope he would lose sponsorship...

i was always intrigued why would someone sexuality be considered in sports. I'm pretty sure he is there to play tennis, not to date other tennis players, so why would anyone care?

Michael Sam is completely irrelevant cause he is not good enough to play in NFL. today noone would know who Michael Sam is if he didnt said publicly he is gay and that is simply wrong. I will always remember Navratilova as one of the best, if not the best tennis player, not gay tennis player, I had pleasure to watch(although i was kid when she was active, and had no idea what gay is)

tennis players, and sportsmen in general, are who they are. let them play tennis(or some other sport) and have their private life remain private.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
68 Posts
It's time for Dimitrov to come out. He's not fooling anybody, we all know Sharapova is just a decoy for public image.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,854 Posts
Declaring one's sexuality might be all the fashion in the first world, and these days one might be able to get away with it in a sport played pretty much entirely within a country like the US.

But it is different for an international sport where the tour involves countries that actually have a death penalty or serious imprisonment as a possibility for homosexual activity. Coming out could be pretty damaging (potentially even literally fatal) in Asia/Middle East/Eastern Europe, so good reasons for keeping quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts
Declaring one's sexuality might be all the fashion in the first world, and these days one might be able to get away with it in a sport played pretty much entirely within a country like the US.

But it is different for an international sport where the tour involves countries that actually have a death penalty or serious imprisonment as a possibility for homosexual activity. Coming out could be pretty damaging (potentially even literally fatal) in Asia/Middle East/Eastern Europe, so good reasons for keeping quiet.
yes, Eastern Europe is known to have same intolerance towards gays as some middle east countries... just as we are known to have police shooting ppl just because they are gay, or have different skin color(oh... wait!)

all sarcasm aside, can we at least try to avoid speaking about things we know nothing about?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
68 Posts

·
~♥ Magnus Norman ♥~
Joined
·
3,328 Posts
I don't think they'd face much bigotry if they were tour-level. Most ATP events are in countries that aren't going to bother them, though they might want to stay out of Doha/Dubai/Moscow, and I don't think the locker room really cares, apart from the few homophobes like Tipsarevic and Dolgopolov.

My guess would be that what's deterring the gay players from coming out is not the prospect of bigotry, but the idea of the distraction level it would be for them. The first openly gay player will have to deal with a lot of media coverage. It'll be positive media coverage, but that doesn't mean it won't have the possibility of being really distracting. Players have a limited time in a tennis career - I understand if they're choosing to keep their heads down and focus on their game.

That said, of course I'd love to see an openly gay player in the sport. Because of pioneers in the WTA, it's not an issue on the WTA at all. When Casey Dellacqua came out when she announced the birth of her son, everyone was just all "cool! And awwww, baby!" It'd be neat if the ATP could get to that point as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
I don't really see any issue with it in a sport like tennis. It's not like tennis fans and tennis culture has ever been particularly macho.

As mentioned, Dellacqua's reveal was a complete non-issue (even if there is more of a tradition and assumption surrounding it in women's tennis, and sport in general). If women are able to play team sports with gay players without batting an eyelid, no reason why men can't either.

Might be wise to avoid a few events (unfortunately), but I struggle to see why someone would lose their fanbase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
I don't know to be honest.

From the public stand point they would probably get alot of support and people would be praising them for having the courage to do it. They would be the first person in ATP history to do it, so it would be a big deal. From a locker room stand point I'm not too sure, I'm sure most players would be fine and accepting but there are afew players that would have a problem with it like some people have already said above.

It would definitely be a interesting but I think it would most likely be good for them, I think that they would gain more. I highly doubt any sponsors would cancel their sponsorship or anything, they would receive HUGE backlash if they did. Some players might make comments about it if they lost a match to them or something but I mean in the grand scheme of things that seems very little. I mean there are many female players that are out and it hasn't really affected them at all :shrug:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
You ask this after Navratilova came out thirty years ago? It was a non issue then and it would be a non issue now.
You just don't get it. The dynamic in the men's locker room is nothing like the women's. Just look at how lesbian athletes are viewed by the public and the amount of attention they get from the media in comparison to the gay ones. There's so many reasons why it's that much harder for elite gay male athletes to come out than the female one.


Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
Can really speak on the Americas as I'm not sure how they are with gays in Europe, but here it would be a MAJOR advantage. Michael Sam (a below average American Football player) almost made a pro team just because of all the support he was receiving. Had he been at least decent enough to be put on a field without embarrassing himself skillwise, they would've loved to have him on the team.

In the liberal cities like NY, LA, Toronto and more, they would definitely be a main attraction and would be heavily supported. Like some said though, I'm not sure how fans somewhere like Dubai or even Russia would feel about it though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,023 Posts
My guess would be that what's deterring the gay players from coming out is not the prospect of bigotry, but the idea of the distraction level it would be for them. The first openly gay player will have to deal with a lot of media coverage. It'll be positive media coverage, but that doesn't mean it won't have the possibility of being really distracting. Players have a limited time in a tennis career - I understand if they're choosing to keep their heads down and focus on their game.
As usual, right on the money from you. In times like this where each player (minus Gulbis) is PR-washed of any controversial stuff, the last thing they want is lights of attention turning in their direction.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top