Tennis coach Judy Murray has spoken out about her belief that sexual abuse is prevalent in tennis and that the sport will soon experience a ‘Me Too’ movement.
Speaking to the Guardian, Murray expressed her concern that she has heard of instances of abuse within the sport and suggested that it would be easy for young, vulnerable players to be taken advantage of, whether that was physically, emotionally or sexually. Murray also claimed that sexual abuse within tennis is an “open secret”.
She went on to urge any victims to come forward in the hope that their bravery would encourage others to report abuse. However in doing so, she acknowledged that for many, finding the courage to report abuse could be hampered by the lack of a specific place or individual to report those allegations to. Murray stressed the need for an independent body ‘where players can go where they know someone will listen to them and they know someone will act on it’. Murray said that she believed players were often reluctant to come forward due to the risk of damaging their careers by prejudicing others against them.
She also raised concerns that in particular, women’s tennis lacks the camaraderie found in the men’s game and that very often, young women and girls spent much of their time with their coach, often an older male. Murray queried whether this often insular relationship made young players vulnerable by virtue of the fact they had no one else to confide in asking “who do these young girls talk to if they have got emotional or physical problems? You can’t talk to a guy that you’re largely employing.”
Murray had previously spoken on the topic of sexual abuse when she appeared on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme in 2016. She acknowledged that tennis had been hit with allegations of abuse, much in the same way that football has, but stressed that ‘rogue’ coaches could exist in any sport.
Jordans Solicitors represent victims who have suffered abuse whilst participating in sporting activities. Where a person abuses their position of trust and commits an act of assault a claim may be possible. We would encourage anyone affected to report their allegations to the police and contact Jordans to pursue a civil claim. We can be contacted free on 033 0300 1103 or you can request a call back.