Monday, March 22nd will (hopefully) be remembered as the day that the discourse surrounding sexism in tennis and the discrepancy in earnings between the ATP and WTA tours took a giant step forward. On the heels of Raymond Moore's sexist comments at the BNP Paribas Open, tennis players took to Twitter and sounded off in a way that we have never seen before.
Nicole Gibbs, Alla Kudryavtseva, and Andy Murray were the chief advocates today; in a sport that has too often closed ranks around the chief offenders who perpetuate rampant sexism, the chorus railing against the establishment was a welcomed reprieve. More importantly, Murray and Gibbs aimed their efforts at noted sexist, Sergiy Stakhovsky, member of the ATP Player's Council. Their persistent tweeting will hopefully shine a sustained light on Stakhovsky, his antiquated beliefs, and underscore just how big a problem tennis and the ATP faces. After all, how can the sport and the ATP seriously address this issue when Stakhovsky is allowed to sit on its Player's Council? An elected member by ATP players, change will likely only be possible if more of Stakhovsky's peers say "enough is enough."
Andy Murray popped up on Twitter to take Sergiy Stakhovsky to the woodshed. Murray, often the lone voice of dissent in a sea of patriarchy in tennis, sought out the Ukrainian to try and make sense of his logic used to attack the argument for equal prize money in tennis.
Sorry, Stakho, Laura's not coming to Kiev anytime soon.
Sergiy Stakhovsky has a talent for finding Twitter conversations in which he is not tagged. Note how Murray inadvertently tagged @Stako instead of @Stako_tennis in that last tweet sequence, but Stakhovsky still found it and replied. Similarly, he found Wertheim's tweet about him below. Research suggests that 50% of players ranked outside of the ATP top 100 share this talent.
Alla Kudryavtseva joined in the fun, taking Stakhovsky to task over the scandal Stakhovsky created for himself last summer when he made disparaging comments about gays in tennis. Thankfully, Kudryavtseva has not forgotten.
And from the etcetera department:
Jonathan Newman is the author of "This Week In Tennis," a weekly recap series bringing you all the goings on in the world of tennis.