By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com May 14 2013 3:16 PM ET
Earlier this month, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish made history when they became the first professional male tennis players to align with Athlete Ally , the organization dedicated to ending homophobia in sports.
Now USA Today reports that Roger Federer and Andy Murray — currently the second- and third-ranked players in men’s tennis — have agreed there’s no place for homophobia in their sport and believe an openly gay player wouldn’t be an issue.
"I don't think it would be a problem," Federer told the Associated Press Sunday at the Italian Open. "We're very relaxed. We don't play a team sport and see each other all the time. ... We're very open. So whatever happens, happens. I don't know if there are any [gay players]. So far from what I've heard, no. But that could change, possibly because of the case in the NBA."
With women’s tennis pros Martina Naratilova, Amelie Mauresmo, and Billie Jean King having already set a precedent for out athletes in the sport, Murray is hopeful an out gay male player would be handled with equal sensitivity. "I think everyone has gotten better at dealing with it," he said. "More and more players have come out and I think there has to be some players that are probably gay. From speaking to the other players, I don't think anyone has any issues with it. So I hope that in tennis it's an issue that is dealt with well when the situation arises."