Tennis

Andy Murray Received Shocking Message From Fellow Pro About Hiring Female Coach

Andy Murray Received Shocking Message From Fellow Pro About Hiring Female Coach

Built upon misunderstandings, misinformation and outright misogyny, sexism still permeates most strands of professional sport.

Currently ranked number two on the men's singles tour, Andy Murray is one of the disappointingly few elite athletes who cut through these outdated tropes and institutional bullshit.

In previous years, his stance as an outspoken 'feminist' - "If being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man, then yes, I suppose I am" - has been conducted skillfully. As demonstrated after his loss to Sam Querrey in this year's Wimbledon quarter-final, Murray is more than willing to punish any oversight.

Speaking with Elle magazine this week, Murray discussed his stance in some detail. In June 2014, Murray hired two-time major winner Amélie Mauresmo as his head coach - the response amongst many of his fellow professionals was disappointing, if not entirely unexpected:

When it first came out in the press that I may be working with a woman, I got a message from one of the players who is now coaching. He said to me: 'I love this game that you're playing with the press; maybe you should tell them tomorrow that you're considering working with a dog.' That's the sort of stuff that was said when I was thinking about it.

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Murray's decision to work so closely with a woman may have appeared like a joke to other professionals, yet, it simply demonstrated how little they knew of the Scot.

While Murray's mother Judy has become something of a sensation in her own right (not necessarily always in a positive sense), it was she who became Murray's first coach. Having 'learned how to coach because there were no coaches in our area', this formative experience undoubtedly impacted upon Murray's understanding of gender roles when he entered the professional ranks.

Although Murray and Mauresmo have since parted ways, his former coach remained positive regarding the legacy such a pairing will leave: 'A woman coaching a man, it breaks a few barriers.'

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Arthur James O'Dea

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