Fritz said openly gay players would be welcome on the ATP Tour

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Dec 25 (Reuters) – Taylor Fritz said his peers would welcome him if a male player on the ATP Tour was gay, the top-ranked American told tennis publication Clay.

While top players past and present on the WTA Tour have come out as gay, no male player competing at the top level of the sport has done so until now.

“I’m not sure if there are gay tennis players in the top 100,” Fritz said in an interview published Sunday. “Statistically, it should be… I think it’s strange, because I feel the player would be accepted.

“Me and my friends, the other players on the tour wouldn’t have a problem with it, it would be perfectly normal and I think people would accept it.”

The 25-year-old world number nine said players might be reluctant to come out because of the attention that would come with it.

“I can’t tell you why (no one came out),” Fritz said.

“That would be a lot of big news and maybe people just don’t want to be in the spotlight, maybe they don’t want to be noticed and stuff.”

Another reason may be that these players don’t want to risk being exposed to offensive language or being ostracized by their peers.

An ATP Tour survey of players earlier this year found that 75% reported hearing other players use homophobic slurs, leading the tour to partner with You Can Play, an organization dedicated to advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.

The survey also pointed to “a strong fear of rejection, isolation from others on tour, and loneliness” as likely barriers for LGBTQ+ players to publicly disclose their sexuality to others.

She also found overwhelming support for ATP’s action against homophobia.

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Los Angeles-based sports reporter who interviews the world’s most impressive athletes and executives. It covers breaking news ranging from the highs of championship wins to the lows of abuse scandals. My work highlights the ways in which sport and issues of race, gender, culture, finance and technology intersect.

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