The ATP has teamed up with an organisation committed to furthering LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport after 75 per cent of players questioned in a survey reported hearing other tennis players commit homophobic abuse.
The governing body of the men’s tennis tour commissioned the survey last season in order to “understand the experiences and perceptions of ATP players, reveal potential barriers to inclusion, and offer data-driven insights to make tennis safe and welcoming for all”.
While the survey, which questioned 65 players on the ATP Tour, found that general attitudes towards gay people were positive, it also found that three in four players had heard their peers use homophobic slurs.
We're thrilled to announce our new education partnership with @YouCanPlayTeam, an organisation committed to furthering LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport 🏳️🌈 🎾
Together, we will build on insights from a first-ever LGBTQ+ survey completed by ATP players last season ✅
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 22, 2022
More positively, findings indicated that 95 per cent of players under 31 were supportive of the ATP taking action to stop homophobia.
As a result of the survey, the ATP has launched a partnership with You Can Play, who also work with the NHL, MLS and NASCAR, to develop an education programme aimed at furthering LGBTQ+ inclusion on the tour.
Chief executive of the ATP Massimo Calvelli said: “Tennis is one of the world’s most global and diverse sports. Through ATP Serves, it’s our goal to ensure the culture of tennis is as inclusive and welcoming as possible.
“This requires us to take an honest look at ourselves and continue asking the right questions. Our LGBTQ+ survey showed overwhelming support amongst ATP players for greater action in this space and identified clear areas where we can be doing better.
“We would like to thank everybody for their contributions to this process so far and, together with You Can Play, look forward to making meaningful progress in years to come.”