Athlete Ally James Blake to retire from pro tennis
James Blake, once the top-ranked player in US and world number four, announced today that he is retiring after the US Open which began today in New York.
“I’m really excited I’ve gotten to do this on my terms,” he said.
My admiration for Blake really rose this year when he began speaking out against homophobia is sports.
Blake, 33, followed in the footsteps of his former Davis Cup teammates Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish in becoming an ambassador for Athlete Ally.
The organization encourages all individuals involved in sports to respect every member of their communities, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and to lead others in doing the same.
“Inclusion doesn’t have to be a political issue, but more a human issue,” Blake said when he joined the group. “As a mixed background person, I have been told I could be hated by both sides. I have always tried to look at it the opposite way as a positive that I could be accepted and included. I am extremely lucky and feel that everyone should have the feeling of acceptance.”
Blake has won 10 singles titles over the course of his career. He also reached the semifinals of the Beijing Summer Olympics and the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2005-06 and the Australian Open in 2008.
Good luck James!