Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky has said he can’t be homophobic as his hairdresser is gay.
The 60th ranked player on the men’s pro tennis tour caused controversy when he said he would not allow his daughter to play the sport as there are ‘a lot’ of lesbian players.
He also said there are no closeted gay players among the top 100 as you be able to notice a gay guy in a locker room.
In an attempt to defend his comments, Stakhovsky said: ‘Yes, there are many lesbian players. But I do not have anything against it.
‘My best friend is gay. My hairdresser is as well. I do not think the tennis community will treat anyone badly if they come out as gay.’
No male pro has ever come out as gay during his career or even after his career has ended. In contrast, former number one players Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo were out during their careers as were doubles players Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs.