Monday, October 7, 2019

Did Noah Rubin censor critics of homophobic player Sergiy Stakhovsky?

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“One of the toughest moments for me was when my grandfather passed away really young. I was 15 at the time. He was a really big supporter of the family and that was a tremendous blow for my family and I. My grandfather was the one who basically helped me get into tennis. He was the one who bought me my first tennis racquet. For me and my mother it was especially tough because he passed away suddenly. He was fully behind everybody, he helped my family anyway he could, whether it was my father, mother or brothers. He was the one who was keeping us all together. He would encourage me all the way. He used to play football back when he was young, when he was in university and he got me into it. I went with him to Dynamo Kiev football matches and that's how I become a fan. I went to my first match in 1992. He truly helped me become the person I am today. I basically spent my life without parents because I moved to Czech Republic with my mother when I was 12. I would live six months with her and six months back home in Kiev. At the time it was very tough and expensive to play, practice or build a career in Ukraine, as a tennis player. There were different people involved in helping me out. At the age of 16 I moved completely alone to Prostejov, Czech Republic. I can definitely say that move made me a different person. I got a bit too independent and not very communicative with my family. I'm not calling them every second day now, it's more like once a week or every two weeks. Tennis, apart from my family, gave me everything I have today. It gave me education, it gave me a life and a family. I doubt, if I wasn’t playing tennis, that I would've met my wife. I always loved to play. I remember my parents sitting me in front of them around 14 and 15 when things were getting rough financially. It was tough for the family because I have two other brothers and more than a half of the family budget was going towards supporting my tennis. I understood that it was extremely tough for my brothers that I was sort of taking it away from them...” @stako_s To continue reading the full story go to
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Heard from a number of readers who wondered if I'd noticed that not only was known homophobe Sergiy Stakhovsky featured on Noah Rubin's Behind the Racquet, someone seemed to be cleaning up the comments people were leaving about the Ukrainian player's past anti-gay and sexist comments.

Tennis fans may recall that Stakhovsky -- who knocked Roger Federer out in the second round of Wimbledon in 2013 -- told an interviewer a couple years ago he would not encourage his daughter to take up tennis because the women's tour contains a high proportion of lesbian players. According to the Women's Tennis Association, Stakhovsky is quoted by Ukrainian sports website as saying: "On the WTA tour, almost every other player is a lesbian. Can you imagine -- half of them. So I for sure won't send my daughter to play tennis." He later said his comments had been improperly translated.

Stakhovsky was also quoted in the interview as saying the "backbone" of the top 100 in the men's Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) tour features no gay players. (How he knows this or why he cares is anyone's guess.)

A few years before, Stakhovsky landed in hot water for saying that the men should earn more than the women, echoing the thoughts of former top-10 pro Gilles Simon.

I've reached out to Rubin to see if he knew why comments calling out Stakhovsky's history were disappearing but haven't heard back so far.


Here’s what Noah had to say. I appreciate his thoughtful response, but can’t help wonder if he would feel the same way if, say, this guy had made comments that were even vaguely anti-black or anti-Semitic.