sunday survey: politicizing the players



This weekend I’m in Washington DC to participate in the National Equality March for civil rights. There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to an issue such as gay marriage – and gay rights in general – but it’s always interesting to see where people land on the political spectrum. Who knew my ultra liberal bi-sexual friend from NYU would be against gay marriage? Surprised me.

Here’s this week’s question:

Which player(s) do you think would step out of the athlete box and be an activist for a social cause? Sure, players have delved into doing work as ‘ambassadors’ and such, but who could you see marching on the Capitol in Washington? And what would they be marching for? Who would back Martina, Billie Jean and Amelie when it came to gay marriage? Any of the ATP players? Are there any players who would never step out for any cause? Who?!

Let us know what you think below.

(photo by sionfullana via flickr)



8 Responses to “sunday survey: politicizing the players”

  1. Carolee Says:

    I think it is more important for the players to be involved in charities like Agassi, Federer and others. Their sexuality is their own business. I feel the same way about actors, I don’t want to know what they do in the bedroom, I want to know how well they can perform.

  2. Chas Says:


    If they can support groups such as the UnitedWay, which chooses to discriminate against people who are gay, why not show your support to a cause that may improve your life? Obtaining equal rights may protect their spouses and assure them the same rights as those that are heterosexual. It’s not always about sex. Get your head out of the dirt. It’s about protective rights that all individuals should have.

  3. notanothertennisfan Says:

    Let’s not forget that Venus Williams and Andy Roddick did make political statements – literally and figuratively – earlier this year on behalf of Shahar Peer. Considering how easy it is for players to show up for a charity event, it’s hard to imagine how any player could NOT be involved in something… granted, the causes are usually “safe”, for cancer or hunger, etc. On LGBT issues, I’d expect allies to include the likes of Sveta Kuznetsova, Mary Pierce, and Johnny Mac. Yeah, I said Johnny Mac.

  4. dootsiez Says:

    Interesting question. I don’t see any ATP play who would be willing to step out to campaign gay rights unfortunately. But I agree, someone like Sveta would be probably be involved in something like this.

    Athletes generally try to steer clear of blatantly political issues and opt to back humanitarian causes instead. I gotta say though, sometimes hiding behind “there’s no place for politics in sport” is not enough.

  5. chris Says:

    I don’t know if I see Sveta stepping out for any causes like that, let alone American ones. She just doesn’t seem to be much of a “statement” person. I do think Johnny Mac would. And I hate to say it because I don’t want to hop on her bandwagon but Oudin seems like she would. Clijsters and Jankovic as well (Janks moreso actually). On the ATP tour … Djokovic, Hewitt and Querrey are the ones I would see “speaking out.”

  6. Hmmm Says:

    I agree. Athletes (and really celebs in general) tend to lend their weight to humanitarian causes that no one in their right mind could be against (medical research, poverty issues). They usually choose not to lend their clout to divisive issues, which is a shame, because some of the most important struggles being fought right now are the ones that have strong opposition. A few professional American football players recently voiced their support for same-sex marraige. It would nice to see some tennis players do the same. As for who is most likely to do so, I would say Nadal or some other Spaniard, since same-sex marriage is already legal in Spain. Thus, it is less controversial there.

  7. Joshua Says:

    One can hardly blame athletes, especially the top-level players who derive so much income from corporate sponsorships, for avoiding controversial issues. Still, it would be nice if there were more political activism in professional sports.

    I have no idea how to answer this question, since any player could stand up for these issues but none of them have so I think our answers tend along lines of which players we personally like. So other than Roddick and Venus Williams (mentioned above) who have taken actual stands on divisive political issues [including one, equal pay for women, that should be about as objectionable as supporting breast cancer research but is treated like the Middle East] it’s impossible to say.

    Remember, also, that many tennis players come from countries with very different cultural attitudes toward homosexuality, civil rights, abortion and any number of other issues that are considered so controversial in our country.

    I’m also amused that Kuznetsova is mentioned so frequently in this thread! I love her to pieces, but she is definitely not the activist type. The only reason I can imagine her appearing in this conversation is because of the perception that she’s a lesbian — in which case I can only say, if she won’t even come out of the closet why should we expect her to march on the Kremlin?

  8. Carsten Broich Says:

    Have a great day! Really enjoyed reading !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: