Martina Navartilova calls on Olympic athletes to come out

World’s most famous lesbian sportsperson says closeted gay competitors have nothing to lose from being open

Martina Navartilova calls on Olympic athletes to come out
27 July 2012

Martina Navratilova, the world’s greatest ever female tennis star has told Gay Star News that closeted gay athletes should come out.

The lesbian multiple-Grand Slam champion says LGBT athletes who are not open are just ‘too paranoid’, in an interview released by GSN today (27 July) to mark the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

There are only a handful of openly LGBT people competing in the Olympics this summer – far less than 1% and sport is often cited as being institutionally homophobic.

But Navratilova told us: ‘I think if the athletes came out it would all change.’

And she described fears that gay athletes would lose their sponsorship deals if they were open about their sexuality as ‘total bullshit’.

She said: ‘And, after all, how many athletes get endorsements? Very few. It really is the cream of the crop that get any outside sponsorship. It’s just a cop out really.’

She also spoke to GSN about her hopes and fears for gay marriage in the US, including her own ambition to get married if the chance arises.

You can read the full interview here.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

'God has cursed Liverpool FC for supporting gay rights', politician claims

This Liverpool mayor candidate also quotes Bible scripture to attack the UK soccer club, and gets it wrong
No thumbnail available

The NAACP announces support of marriage equality

The NAACP follows Presidnet Obama's lead and supports same sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Intel Corp. vows to no longer contribute to anti-gay Boy Scouts of America

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls began protest after learning company gave nearly $700,000 to Scouts in 2010
No thumbnail available

Australian marriage leaders call for change

Carl Katter says Jesus would ‘hang out’ with pro-gay church while Vietnam veteran also calls for same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Openly transgender model featured in new campaign for equality T-shirts

America's Next Top Model contestant Isis King among those donning the shirts in ads for American Apparel
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay Gambian president: homosexuality 'more deadly than all natural disasters put together'

Homophobic African leader spoke out against gay rights at the United Nations
No thumbnail available

16,000 parents and teachers told to 'curb' LGBT behavior in Malaysia

Malaysian deputy education minister says LGBT behavior in children is 'like a disease'
No thumbnail available

Watch the 1961 documentary on gay people that was thought lost to history

‘The Rejected’ screened on US television on 11 September in 1961 and was a surprisingly frank and objective discussion of ‘the problem’ of homosexuality and its causes but it was thought no copies survived
No thumbnail available

Rugby star Gareth Thomas was suicidal before coming out

Former Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas talks about wanting to drown or fall off a cliff before coming out as gay
No thumbnail available