FOR someone who claims there isn’t a gay man in men’s pro tennis, Sergiy Stakhovsky sure talks a lot about homosexuality in pro tennis.
The Ukrainian, who made waves in July for asserting the men’s tour has a “normal atmosphere” — meaning no gay men — and that half the women players were lesbians, did not back down from his controversial opinions on Thursday.
Playing doubles at the U.S. Open, the 29-year-old cushioned his stances with “I don’t have a problem with [homosexuals],” but still refused to acknowledge the possibility one of his opponents could be gay.
“If there are 100 guys, or 128 guys, I mean, if somebody’s different, he falls out, doesn’t he?” Stakhovsky told USA Today. “In a locker room, where half the guys walking in towels are naked, yeah, you definitely would see something different, no?”
Stakhovsky, ranked No. 60 in the world, went on to talk about the tight-knit, no-secrets culture of the men’s tour. He can’t conceive someone being in the closet without his knowing — and suggested his gaydar would have registered if a gay player were near.
“I believe you have that feeling” if someone is gay, he told the newspaper. “I think that players would sense something. Players talk to each other, we have a group community, everybody talks to everybody. Which means somehow it would fall out. Some stories, rumours would fall out.”
On the women’s tour, Stakhovsky says those rumours have fallen out.
He claimed there are “a lot” of lesbians on the tour, and while he previously indicated he wouldn’t want his daughter playing tennis because of it, he tried to add tolerance to a retrograde message this time.
“Through my years, I have a lot of great relationship with WTA players. So I do know how the WTA locker room is like,” he said. “It’s not like we’re going to mistreat somebody in the locker room, it doesn’t matter [if that] person is a homosexual or not to me. We live in a world where everybody has the right to be what he wants to be. Nobody can say anything to me, it’s my life, I can do whatever I want with it.”
This story originally appeared on the New York Post
Originally published as There are still no gays on tour