ITF strongly condemns racism in any form: No place for it in tennis



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ITF strongly condemns racism in any form: No place for it in tennis

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has underlined that it condemns any forms of racism as there is no place for racism in form in the tennis world. Following the death of George Floyd -- an African-American -- who died after a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly minutes -- people and the organizations across the world have stood to fight against racism.

The protests across the whole United States have been going for over a week now following the death of Floyd. "The ITF is against any form of racism in our sport and in society. Recent events have rightly sparked global discussion and reflection for individuals and organizations.

Tennis is lucky to have players, coaches, officials and administrators who have shown themselves as leaders, not only for the past two weeks but for decades, using their platforms to raise awareness and inspire change," the ITF said in a statement released on Thursday.

"We take our responsibilities as a governing body seriously and recognize there is more work to be done. Inclusivity is one of the ITF's core values and through our Advantage All programme, our long-term goal is to eliminate discrimination, bias and barriers of any forms and at all levels of the sport.

"The ITF invests each year more than $10 million into the global development of our sport, creating opportunities for everyone to play, train and, if they have the talent, pursue a career as a professional tennis player, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, or where they are from.

Tennis is a truly global sport and we remain committed to creating a culture around it that is accepting and inclusive to all."

The ITF backs tennis players

Tennis players have also joined the action as some of the biggest stars of the game have spoken in recent weeks about racism and urged people to take it seriously and look at it as a big problem in today's society.

The Big Three -- Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer -- were one of the biggest ATP stars to support the Black Lives Matter.
Several other ATP stars have spoken against racism, most notably French Jo Wilfried Tsonga and rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime.

On the other side, former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has been the most vocal player from the WTA Tour as she is using her platform to ignite a change. With their statement, the ITF shows it supports the recent activism shown by tennis players.