American tennis stars and best buds Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish took a stand for equality today by announcing their alignment with Athlete Ally, an organization that “encourages athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals in sports.”
Though it’s only two years old, Athlete Ally has collected more than 12,000 pledges from athletes around the world dedicated to ending homophobia in sports.
“It’s people like Andy and Mardy who will help pave the way for LGBT athletes in tennis,” said Athlete Ally Advisory Board Member Martina Navratilova. “With each new Athlete Ally that speaks out, an LGBT athlete could feel more comfortable coming out.”
Here are the statements these über sexy athletes gave after joining Athlete Ally, which are much more meaningful when paired with their beautiful mugs:
“Yesterday was an incredible day for athletes everywhere. Jason Collin’s courage and leadership in coming out reminds me of how important it is for an athlete to be able to be true to him or herself. As an Athlete Ally, I want to support every athlete to feel comfortable and confident being themselves and to make sure that all people – players and fans alike – are welcome and included in tennis.” —Andy Roddick
“Everybody deserves a shot at playing sports. It shouldn’t matter in the least if that person is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Building community through healthy and inclusive activities should be one of the main focuses behind athletics, and that isn’t possible if you exclude LGBT individuals, especially our youth.” —Mardy Fish.