Is Andy Murray the unexpected champion of women’s sport?

World No. 3 tennis star is praised for speaking out about equality

Andy Murray Wimbledon 2017
British tennis star Andy Murray
(Image credit: Joe Toth/AFP/Getty Images)

After correcting a reporter’s “casual sexism” during a press conference at Wimbledon, Andy Murray earned further praise today by speaking out about women’s sport and equality.

In a column for the BBC, the British tennis star said he “never set out to be a spokesperson for women’s equality” but if he didn’t speak his mind he would “find it hard to look any of the top female tennis players in the eye”.

“People often underestimate the amount of work that it takes to become a top tennis player,” said the Scottish player. “And that work ethic is the same whether you are a man or a woman. There are hours spent in the gym, on court, in physio, travelling, analysing matches and opponents, talking with your team, managing your body, and of course, making plenty of sacrifices.”

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He said that anyone who has spent time with the top women in tennis would know that they make “those same sacrifices”, and insisted that female players were “as determined and committed to winning as any of the top men on the tour”.

Murray called for more women to be appointed in sport’s leading positions but said that tennis was leading the way in terms of equal pay.

“Female sportswomen rarely get as much air-time as men, and there are still not enough women in the top jobs in sport, but things are improving,” he said.

“Tennis has come a long way in the past 35 years since the US Open first gave equal pay to men and women. And it’s great that all the Slams pay their male and female champions the same.”

He said that “no other sport was doing as much as tennis” and expressed his hopes that tennis would put “pressure on other sports to do the same”.

The 30-year-old’s comments were praised on social media this morning with fans and pundits saying that Murray was “leading the way”.

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