By Nidhi Kinhal
Earlier this month, Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka, who made a comeback at Wimbledon after giving birth, had her feminism on-point, when she said, “nothing is impossible for women, that’s definitely true.” But men just don’t seem to get that. There’s been a lot of sexism surrounding Wimbledon, with most women players being kept off top courts, because of “some difficult choices”, but Andy Murray, the British tennis player who is currently the World No. 1 in men’s singles, isn’t going to have any of it.
After his Wimbledon defeat at the hands of American player Sam Querrey, a reporter referred to Sam as “the first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009”, before proceeding to ask, “How would you describe-”, and at this point, Murray swiftly added, “Male player.” When the reporter, who clearly did not see this coming, said, “I beg your pardon?”, Murray calmly repeats, “Male player, right?”
What’s best about Murray’s response is that when the reporter was taken aback, and tried to nervously laugh it off with, “That’s for sure”, Murray doesn’t join him. You know he takes this shit with the seriousness it deserves, because this isn’t the first time he’s called out the sports industry for its sexism, or proved to be a great male feminist. When female players expressed their disappointment this season about not getting to play on the main courts, Murray expressed support with a simple solution: “I think ideally you would have two men’s and two women’s on Centre, potentially starting the matches a bit earlier would allow for that,” he said.
At the Rio 2016 Olympics, when a BBC commentator said, “You’re the first person to ever win two Olympic tennis gold medals, that’s an extraordinary feat, isn’t it?”, Murray responded with, “I think Venus and Serena have won about four each…” Overlooking women’s accomplishments isn’t new at all. Earlier in 2015, Murray called out BBC over not giving enough media credit to British athlete Katrina Johnson-Thompson’s European Indoor pentathlon win, when it was headline number 22 on BBC’s sports homepage. “Complete joke,” he called it.
Serena Williams has won 12 Grand Slam tournaments since 2009, so the appropriate reaction to the reporter, apart from Murray’s crisp one– of course, is: “I beg your pardon?” It’s also sad that the bar of expectations for men is so low that an act of human decency receives massive applause, but we hope that Murray paves way for more male feminists and allies who aren’t afraid to stand up against sexism.
Seriously, I could watch the video on loop, but the cherry-on-top has to be Murray’s mother Judy, who tweeted this after the incident. Adorable.
That’s my boy. ❤️ https://t.co/ldZUQ2wbZj
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) July 12, 2017