In final press conference as a player, tennis star James Blake blasts Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law
James Blake called it a career last night after losing a five-set heartbreaker in the first round of the US Open.
Once ranked as high as number four in the world and number one in the US, Blake is now 33 and his ranking hovers around 100.
But he’s one of the bigger US stars, along with the now-retired Andy Roddick, of the past decade or so and is now working with Athlete Ally, an organization working to end homophobia in sports.
He laments an athletic culture ‘where you’re too often seeing a lot of macho sort of showboating when everyone should feel comfortable.’
‘Sports is a great equalizer,’ he said.
‘I think everyone at this point, when you look at numbers, someone in your circle, whether it’s a family member or a friend, is gay, transgender, or bisexual.’ Blake said.
‘You should appreciate that those people are valued members of society, people that are doing something good in the world. They should feel comfortable to live their lives.’
Of Russia’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law, Blake said: ‘I think any sort of policy that discriminates against them, that excludes them, is completely unfair in today’s day and age. That’s why I say we’re 50 years out and there are still things going on that are discriminatory.’