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Why are there no openly gay pros in elite men’s tennis? Out, former player Brian Vahaley has an idea.

Too often tennis has been perceived as a privileged, white, straight, upper-class sport. We can change that.

Given tennis is such an international sport, a gay male tennis player would still have challenges competing in countries where being gay is not even legal, and you certainly do not have teammates who have your back.

So, the barriers are real. I applaud the next tennis player who has the guts to live his life authentically, while also respecting if players are simply not comfortable being public even in today’s climate.— Former tennis pro Brian Vahaly reflecting on why there have been so few out Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) players in an interview with Forbes. Vahaly and Francisco Rodriguez, who both came out as gay in retirement, remain the only two.

Related: Russia’s top tennis star Daria Kasatkina came out with an Olympic gf reveal, consequences be damned

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