10 Years After Landmark Move, French Open to Don Rainbow Colors as Organizers Announce Heartening Gesture to Celebrate Pride Day

Published 06/07/2023, 3:23 AM EDT

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Clay court major French Open is one of the most grueling and competitive majors of the year. The orange clay all over the arena only adds to the battlefield-like intensity of the tournament. However, today Roland Garros is going to prioritize the celebration of Pride Day. Renowned players like Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King have always vouched for the respectful representation of homosexuality.

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So, the clay-court major is going to do just that. It will also celebrate the anniversary of the national achievement of queer rights with pride.

French Open to celebrate Pride Day in all its colorful glory 

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Tennis is a conventionally old sport with its elaborative set of rules and regulations. However, it is not following the same trend in its social outlook. The decision of the French Open to celebrate Pride Day today is one thing we can not ignore.

Roland Garros is going to go all out with the colorful celebrations of Pride Month. The LED lights will go out in rainbow colors, commemorating the sexualities that lie under the LGBTQ+ spectrum. The French Tennis Federation has also announced that the social media page of the French Open would also get a Pride Month-centric makeover.

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Making it an audience-centric experience, the fans would be able to get temporary Pride Day tattoos. Moreover, the French Open organizers have made a plan to decorate the clay-court arena in the colors of Pride month.

Apart from celebrating the worldwide Pride Month, the French Open is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in France. After a nationwide protest in 2013, then-President Francois Hollande authorized the law of legalizing same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples.

The celebration of Pride Month in a sport associated with a lot of traditional and conventional values shows the change that tennis is adapting to.

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Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King led the torch of being proud of oneself 

In a conventional sport like tennis, it was Martina Navratilova who took the first step of coming out. Her friends Chris Evert and Billie Jean King supported her.

And when the time came, King sought support from Evert and Navratilova while coming out as a lesbian. Despite the huge backlash, the two players have always stayed true to themselves and have promoted players to not feel hesitant to come out.

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Moreover, the lack of ATP players coming out has bothered Navratilova. She wishes for them to embrace their identity, irrespective of the general trend of staying in the closet. Do you think sports and sexuality should stay segregated? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Written by:

Shivali Sharma

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Shivali Sharma is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports, who specializes in off-court topics and has a particular focus on the legendary ‘Queen of the Court’, Serena Williams. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Shivali has authored numerous articles covering varied topics concerning the 23-time Grand Slam champion, including her personal life, career, and more. In addition to her work on Serena Williams, Shivali is also a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires the four-time Major winner, particularly for her advocacy for mental health.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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