Athlete Ally | James Blake | Russia | Sports | Tennis

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James Blake Ends Tennis Career, Condemns Russian Homophobia: VIDEO

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James Blake retired from tennis last night following his first-round defeat by Croatia's Ivo Karlovic at the U.S. Open. In his post-game press conference, Blake talked about being an African-American tennis star and inspiring young players but also talked about homophobia, the AP reports:

Afterward, he talked about tennis, but also causes dear to him. Blake has joined Athlete Ally, an organization working to end homophobia in sports. He lamented an athletic culture "where you're too often seeing a lot of macho sort of showboating when everyone should feel comfortable."

"Sports is a great equalizer," Blake said.

He condemned the law prohibiting gay "propaganda" in Russia, which is hosting the Winter Olympics next year.

"I think everyone at this point, when you look at numbers, someone in your circle, whether it's a family member or a friend, is gay, transgender, or bisexual," he said. "You should appreciate that those people are valued members of society, people that are doing something good in the world. They should feel comfortable to live their lives. I think any sort of policy that discriminates against them, that excludes them, is completely unfair in today's day and age. That's why I say we're 50 years out and there are still things going on that are discriminatory."

As long as we're looking back on Blake's career, let's have a look at this memory from 2006 courtesy of Evian water, when that career really broke out and he burst into the top 20 for the first time.

Check out one more shot, and a brief video of Blake's final moments on the court (if a clip of the post-game press conference described above becomes available, I'll post that too, AFTER THE JUMP...

Blake

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Comments

  1. cool guy

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 29, 2013 10:31:57 AM


  2. Just to point out the obvious, he's gorgeous.

    Posted by: James in Hollywood | Aug 29, 2013 10:47:41 AM


  3. Had he said something derogatory about gays, his physical appearance would have elicited a "meh" from me--'cause there are a lot of "pretty" people out there. Now that he's shown himself to be beautiful on the inside as well...he's a total gorgeous package. And I'm jealous.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Aug 29, 2013 11:03:48 AM


  4. I love a smart, caring man who is also incredibly beautiful. Glad to have him on our side.

    Posted by: Bobby | Aug 29, 2013 11:04:14 AM


  5. Damn, why are all the good ones taken or straight? I want to marry him!

    Posted by: Ron | Aug 29, 2013 11:17:11 AM


  6. The classiest man in Men's Tennis has retired. So much respect for him on so many levels!

    Posted by: Gary A/House Music Pusher | Aug 29, 2013 12:03:34 PM


  7. It was very kind of the beautiful James Blake to leave us all with one last shirtless moment on TV, right after the loss, as well.

    Posted by: chris | Aug 29, 2013 12:05:27 PM


  8. finally! kudos to james blake, a classy move from a classy guy, and one long overdue. we would be hard pressed to find a better ally.

    now would be a great time to have an openly gay or bi male player that isn't at the end of their career, too.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 29, 2013 12:57:09 PM


  9. Yep, beautiful inside and out. What a great guy. What a loss to tennis.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Aug 29, 2013 2:47:52 PM


  10. He is imminently marketable. That face and body should be everywhere...I can think of at least one place right now!

    Posted by: JWL | Aug 29, 2013 4:20:51 PM


  11. @Woodroad34 - so as long as he said something "positive" about gays, he's good looking? You are pathetic! This is what I mean about one dimensional gay men! Get a life loser!

    Posted by: WRONG | Aug 30, 2013 2:19:59 AM


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