Andy Murray may be out of the running to be this year's Wimbledon champion, but his continued matter-of-fact fight against sexism has made him a winner in a lot of people's hearts.
On Wednesday, Murray earned widespread praise for helpfully reminding a reporter that, yes, female tennis players do exist.
As NBC Sports reports, Murray was answering questions at a press conference following his defeat in a match against Sam Querrey, when a reporter remarked that Querrey was "the first U.S. player to reach a major semifinal since 2009."
Murray, however, quickly interjected to remind said reporter that Querrey was only the first "male player" to have done so.
When @andy_murray corrects a journalist's "casual sexism"https://t.co/u6z3lqf6H2 #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/Jgj9tjifUd— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 13, 2017
As NBC Sports notes, many American women have advanced into major tennis semifinals — including one Serena Williams, who has won more major titles than most of us can probably name.
Elsewhere on Twitter, Murray earned hefty praise for shutting down casual sexism — including from his mother and Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland.
Andy Murray, unlike these other wastemen doesn't want to be known as the "first person" to do something when he knows a woman did it first.— Kelechi Okafor (@kelechnekoff) July 13, 2017
What a star @andy_murray is - on and off the court. https://t.co/JhytMYYBWL— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 12, 2017
Andy Murray, fighting the good fight… pic.twitter.com/bj1rii1KmG— Leigh Walsh (@LeighWalsh87) July 12, 2017
As some users have pointed out, this isn't the first time Murray called out casual sexism in sports. Last year, he reminded a reporter who congratulated him on being the first "person" to win two Olympic gold medals in tennis that he's actually just the first male tennis player to do so.
"You're the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals," BBC reporter John Inverdale had said. "That's an extraordinary feat, isn't it?"
"I think Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four each," Murray responded.
Of course, far be it from us to heap praise onto men just for doing what they should when confronted with casual sexism, but Murray's continued no-nonsense attitude when it comes to giving female tennis players the credit they're due is important. It matters — because unfortunately, small gaffes and oversights like the ones he called out are indicative of a larger culture in sports that often fails to acknowledge women's accomplishments.
As a white, able-bodied, accomplished male athlete, Murray has a great amount of privilege and power — and it's great to see someone like that using his platform to be an advocate for equality, even in the smallest ways.
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