London: The head of the women’s professional tennis tour has criticised Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky for anti-gay comments he reportedly made in an interview.
Stakhovsky, 29, is said to have told an interviewer he would not encourage his daughter to take up tennis because the women’s tour contains a high proportion of lesbian players.
According to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Stakhovsky is quoted by Ukrainian sports website XSport.ua as saying: “On the WTA tour, almost every other player is a lesbian. Can you imagine — half of them. So I for sure won’t send my daughter to play tennis.”
He is also quoted in the interview as saying the “backbone” of the top 100 in the men’s Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) tour features no gay players.
The comments prompted WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster to respond, saying: “It’s sad to think in this day and age there are people who are narrow minded and speak derisively about women based on sexual orientation.
It’s a sad reflection of old thinking and I’m proud of all our WTA players who are forward thinking, treat everyone equal and reflect life in the 21st century.”
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