The South African face of tennis, Kevin Anderson will be returning to the ATP circuit after skipping the clay court season due to an elbow injury. At Queen’s Club Championships, he will face Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the first round.
World Number eight, Anderson describes himself as a feminist and he has become an ally of the LGBTQ community. The tennis world doesn’t really have any ‘openly gay male player’ and Kevin Anderson is concerned about not having them.
“There is definitely a stigma attached to it,” he said during the Australian Open. “Society historically has not been very welcoming. Times are changing because people are talking, which is great, but it will take somebody to break that trend. It won’t be easy. It will take a lot of courage. But hopefully, if we can be more welcoming it might make it a little bit easier”.
It’s normal to be belonging to the LGBTQ community and the tennis world will accept such tennis players. Kevin Anderson cited the instances from the NBA and how their problems were solved after one person standing up and later it helped the others in the team.
“One person doing it might open the gates for others. In the US with team sports, there have been a couple of players who have come out. Jason Collins, who was the first NBA player to come out, said one of his biggest challenges was worrying about his teammates. But once he did it and his teammates were supportive of him, it helped others”, Kevin Anderson mentioned.
The 2018 Wimbledon finalist hopes that LGBTQ related issues amongst the tennis players are set straight in tennis and all the players have a comfortable environment to play. “Tennis is individual so the dynamics are different. My hope is players collectively create an environment where someone feels comfortable. It’s about having good awareness. Jason spoke about this a lot. It’s small things, like saying: ‘That’s so gay,’” Kevin Anderson continued.
He also came up with suggestions for the offensive remarks which the LGBTQ community people deal with. “Somebody who is gay could find it very offensive but not feel comfortable about speaking out. The NBA actually has a system where people are fined for saying that. It can be very offensive and steps like that can be implemented in tennis. It’s part of being respectful and understanding how simple comments like that can be received by others,” Kevin Anderson said.