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Tennis is due its own #MeToo moment, Judy Murray says (UK)

Tennis is due its own #MeToo moment and women should be able to speak out about abuse they have suffered within the game, Judy Murray has said as Wimbledon begins.

In an interview with the Guardian before the tournament, which starts on Monday, the highly respected coach, whose sons Andy and Jamie are both former Wimbledon champions, said it was an open secret that there was abuse in the women’s game.

“I think anybody would tell you that there are examples,” she said. “I think everybody who’s on the circuit would be able to name you something that isn’t quite right. It’s very easy for a young, inexperienced player to be taken advantage of … I would certainly advocate for anybody who has been the victim of abuse in that coaching relationship to speak about it.”

Asked whether she thought it would happen, Murray said: “It only needs one person to start it off.”

Murray said that when women first begin on the tour they are often very young, their bodies are changing and they can be vulnerable and lonely, with little mixing between players compared with the men’s tour, where there is greater camaraderie.

While supportive of women speaking up about abuse they have suffered, she warned that it was difficult to do so, particularly when young. When asked whether tennis would have its #MeToo moment, Murray said: “It’s really about the women getting to the stage in their life where they feel confident enough to speak out. Who do you speak to?

“There should be an independent sports body, where players can go where they know someone will listen to them and they know someone will act on it – whether that’s emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Often you’re scared to speak because you think it will prejudice people against you.”

She added: “If you’re a young female player and you’re travelling the world, you often have nobody to talk to … I noticed how little the girls would go out for dinner together.

 

READ FULL STORY – theguardian.com


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