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 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.