ATP apologizes after it asks tennis players if they are ‘sissies’

The Assn. of Tennis Professionals apologized Sunday after sharing a Tik Tok that asked players if they would describe themselves as “sissies.”

“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,” the ATP said on its Twitter feed.

The apology came after ATP shared a Tik Tok video asking people what kind of tennis players they were. The options were “the moaner,” “the grunter,” “the angry player” and “the sissy.”

Tennis podcaster Jonathan Newman captured the picture used for the “sissy.”

Newman later tweeted after the apology: “Good start! Next step: build on this with some Pride month content that will demonstrate the inclusive environment you’re striving for. The ATP Tour has historically treated its legions of LGBT fans as if we don’t exist. Time to fix that!”

We all know what “sissy” means in this context and it is homophobic, so there’s zero excuse for what the ATP did.

Jeremy Sonkin, an openly gay player on the masters tour, wrote about the homophobia he has encountered in the sport, though he says his experience as a pro have been positive.

My journey has empowered me to continue living unapologetically.

Yet on the ATP tour there is currently not one out, male tennis player. During my time on tour, I didn’t face any form of direct discrimination from players, coaches, umpires or fans. I had braced myself for the worst going into competing again. But after my experience, I feel confident in saying the ATP is ready to support an out gay male tennis player.

During my time on tour, I didn’t face any form of direct discrimination from players, coaches, umpires or fans. I had braced myself for the worst going into competing again. But after my experience, I feel confident in saying the ATP is ready to support an out gay male tennis player.

I hope and trust Sonkin is right that an openly gay male pro player would be accepted, though the ATP sharing the Tik Tok was incredibly tone-deaf, especially as we start Pride month.


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