Martina Navratilova

An online poll of 700 people in Britain has revealed that the majority believe that tennis is the most gay-friendly sport.

While tennis took the top spot, with 65 per cent saying it was the most gay-friendly, and Rugby scored 29 per cent, football came last with just 6 per cent of respondents saying that it is the most gay-friendly sport.

The online poll, by British LGBT rights group Stonewall, found that more than one in four fans think football is ‘anti-gay’ and three in five fans say anti-gay abuse dissuades players from coming out.

“As the national governing body for tennis in Britain, the Lawn Tennis Association is delighted that tennis has been recognised as a welcoming sport for all, regardless of age, ability, background or sexual orientation,” commented James Munro from the Lawn Tennis Association.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: “There’s not a single openly gay professional player in British football. Perhaps if football had a wider pool of talent to choose from, our World Cup performance wouldn’t be quite so pitiful.”

In 1981, Billie Jean King was the first prominent professional tennis player to come out as gay followed by Martina Navratilova.

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