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04/19/2007


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...

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Continue reading "James Blake Ends Tennis Career, Condemns Russian Homophobia: VIDEO" »


Tennis Player James Blake Joins Anti-Homophobia Campaign

BlakeAmerican tennis player James Blake joins Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick as an ambassador to the anti-homophobia group Athlete Ally.

Says Blake:

“I am proud to be affiliated with Athlete Ally because they do exceptional work that can actually make a difference in the sports world and beyond. Inclusion doesn't have to be a political issue, but more a human issue. As a mixed background person, I have been told I could be hated by both sides. I have always tried to look at it the opposite way as a positive that I could be accepted and included. I am extremely lucky and feel that everyone should have the feeling of acceptance.”

Said Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally Hudson Taylor: "We are seeing athletes across all sports take a stand and get their friends and teammates involved because when you love the game you play, you respect it. Joining our movement is a way for true sportsmen to demonstrate their commitment to fair play. James Blake has made the United States proud over the years both on the court and off of it and we are confident that his allyship will, in turn, embolden more allies to speak out as well."


Shirtless Blakemates Crazy for James at Australian Open

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James Blake put away American Michael Russell 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne today, a performance which sent his male painted shirtless fanboys into a frenzy.

It's always a bit strange to see the type of fans you might find at a college football game unleashing their testosterone at a tennis match, but I'm not complaining.

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Making James Blake Wet [tr]
Sportrait: James Blake [tr]


James Blake in Fine Form at U.S. Open

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Blake defeated Tomas Berdych to advance to a quarterfinals match tonight against Roger Federer. Blake has lost one set in four matches at the Open. Federer has not yet lost a set. Should be a hot match.

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Sportrait: James Blake [tr]


Making James Blake Wet

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James Blake takes us behind-the-scenes at his center court Evian bath.

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Sportrait: James Blake

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As New York temperatures soar, via Queerty come these shots of tennis phenom James Blake getting down to business in an endorsement deal with Evian water. Blake has shot up in the rankings this year and seems to have stolen the spotlight from Andy Roddick, whose injuries have plagued him all year.

One more shot after the jump and a few more over at Queerty...

Continue reading "Sportrait: James Blake" »


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