In order to further the movement and participation in women’s sports, the responsibility must rely on everyone, not just women. When big names speak up on representation and equality in sports, the effect is significant. Fans hear that their favorite athletes support women’s sports, so why shouldn’t they as well?
Andy Murray, a professional tennis player from Scotland, uses his platform as one of the biggest, best and high-profile tennis players in history, to unapologetically show his support and advocacy for women in sports. Murray continues to lead the way in showing how men can stand up for women.
Influenced by his mother Judy both on and off the field, he has used his platform to highlight the disparity and start the conversation.
Murray was ranked at the summit of the tennis rankings for 41 weeks straight, adding to his three Grand Slams and two Olympic gold medals. This success allows Murray to have an inside perspective on inequality in the sports realm and the media.
Murray has done a lot to confront the inequality and the underrepresentation of women in sports. The following are a few examples.
On what he’s observed as an athlete: “I’ve been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal.”
On the pay gap: “Women should have equal pay, 100 per cent.”
A reporter congratulated Murray on being the first person to win two Olympic gold medals for tennis. Murray reminded him that, “Venus and Serena have won four each.”
“I’ve actually become very passionate about getting more women in sport, giving women more opportunities.”
“It’s quite amazing how few female coaches there are across any sport.”
Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014. However, he wasn’t expecting such negative feedback from the press: “I didn’t realize that Amelie would find herself up against such criticism and prejudice.”
“The staggering thing was that she was slated every time I lost, which is something my former coaches never ever experienced. It wasn’t right.”
Not only has Murray supported an increase in female coaches, but he also supports more participation of women in girls in sport to make the numbers equal.
Murray was was praised for correcting a journalist who said Sam Querrey was the first American to reach a grand slam semi-final since 2009.
“Male player,” Murray said staunchly, highlighting the fact that Serena Williams had won her fair share of titles in that period.
“I do not think there is a woman player who is not totally supportive of Andy Murray,” Serena Williams said. “He has spoken up for women’s rights, especially in tennis, forever. He has such a wonderful mother, who has been such a strong figure in his life and he has done so much for us on our tour. We love Andy Murray.”
Been a fan of Andy Murray for a long time.— Zina Garrison (@beyondthegold) September 13, 2021
His support for women coaches and young women in sports is the REAL DEAL. @TheGoatPod @BillieJeanKing @Chanda_Rubin @andy_murray
The private role Andy Murray played in the rise of Emma Raducanu https://t.co/oVHFwzQ7Vs via @Yahoo