In a piece published by the BBC today, Andy Murray, the gruff Scotsman and current world No. 3 who’s emerged as an outspoken feminist over the years, wrote that, “I have been asked about women’s equality and I would find it hard to look any of the top female tennis players in the eye if I did not speak my mind.”
Murray, who hired former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo to be his coach in 2014, wrote that “[Mauresmo] wasn’t always treated the same as men in similar jobs, and so I felt I had to speak out about that.”
The editorial, which covers how Murray played tennis against girls when he was growing up, to how he enjoys playing mixed doubles, to equal pay at Grand Slams, is consistent with his history of calling out sexism in tennis. At Wimbledon this year, he corrected a reporter for saying “first American player” instead of “first male American player”:
Before that, he said he’d want to play tennis with Serena Williams, and also declared that he was a feminist. (You can read a history of woke Andy’s feminism here on Slate.)
Murray’s belief that men and women are equal is as basic as it gets, but considering his misogynistic tennis contemporaries—Jo-Wilfried Tsonga once said women lose because their hormones make them more emotionally unstable; tennis hall-of-famer Ilie Nastase was was suspended for inappropriate comments; and a tournament director in Madrid said the longer a woman’s legs are, the more beautiful—his willingness to talk about feminism has set him apart.
But as Murray continues to talk about gender equality in tennis (and hopefully he does), it’s worth noting what he’s missing. In his BBC post, for example, Murray didn’t address that outside the Grand Slams, female tennis players still make significantly less than men in prize money. He also didn’t mention the female players who came before him and fought for equality and equal prize money, like Venus Williams and Billie Jean King.