'Wouldn't Encourage It': McEnroe Speaks Against Saudi Arabia's Involvement In Tennis

'Wouldn't Encourage It': McEnroe Speaks Against Saudi Arabia's Involvement In Tennis

by Sebastian Dahlman

John McEnroe wasn't exactly thrilled about the news that Saudi Arabia is planning investments in tennis through their public fund.

The news about Saudi Arabia holding discussions with the ATP to invest in the sport didn't go down that well with most tennis fans. The country's human rights record isn't great with entirely different values in terms of inclusivity among other things.

Nobody was really surprised about the news as the country has been making moves in the sports world for years. It was only a time before they set their sights on tennis though McEnroe isn't really excited about the development. He spoke to ESPN about the topic sharing his thoughts.

I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t encourage it, me personally, the Saudi thing, but I’m not surprised that tennis is being thrown into the mix after what we saw in golf. I don’t think that’s something that we should be pursuing, per se, but it’s not in my hands.

Since the news broke, ATP CEO Andrea Gaudenzi spoke about the news admitting that the ATP won't compromise on their values warning the Sazdi's against any plans of a hostile takeover. They need to work with existing shareholders, not the other way around.

How will that look in practice remains to be seen but McEnroe looked to golf for an idea. After battling the Suadi-backed LIV Tour for a while, PGA announced a merger with the LIV Tour completely going back on their word. McEnroe called it hypocritical but all those complaining about it are not better according to him.

The people that are complaining about it, a lot of the people are hypocrites, because our government does business with them along with tons of other hedge funs, wealth funds, you could down the list of people that do have dealings.

The players certainly don't seem to mind playing there. The much-higher prize money at those events will likely sway even the noblest of players. Carlos Alcaraz confirmed he would play in Saudi recently while Nick Kyrgios celebrated the news on Twitter. Players like Medvedev, Tsitsipas, and Zverev already played there. Only Andy Murray so far publicly said he would not play in the country.


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