Kasatkina has ‘provided promises’ regarding Safety of Saudi Arabia’s LGBT Players

Kasatkina has 'provided promises' on homosexual players' safety in Saudi Arabia.

One of the few out homosexual players on the WTA Tour, Daria Kasatkina, claims she has been “given guarantees” regarding her safety in the event that she plays in Saudi Arabia.

The 26-year-old has a chance to advance to the WTA Finals, which will take place in Riyadh for the first time this November, and conclude the season.

When asked if gay players should feel comfortable participating, the world number 11 responded to BBC Sport, saying, “I’ve been given guarantees that I’m going to be fine.”

When questioned at Wimbledon the previous year, Kasatkina voiced his concerns about Saudi Arabia hosting the Finals, stating that there were “many issues concerning this country.”

However, following her victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the Madrid Open, Kasatkina discussed the advantages of moving the tour’s main event to Riyadh for a three-year period.

“It’s fantastic news for me if I qualify; it means that I am in the top eight in the world,” she exclaimed.

“We can observe that Saudis are now tremendously interested in sports and want to see it grow. And I think it’s fantastic as long as it provides the locals, especially the ladies and young children, with the chance to witness the sport in action and engage in it through watching, playing, and participating.

Human Rights Watch said in December to the BBC that homosexuality promotion on the internet had resulted in convictions in Saudi courts, adding that “LGBT people in Saudi Arabia have to practise extreme self-censorship to survive their daily lives”.

The Saudi Tennis Federation’s head, Arij Almutabagani, responded by saying that homosexual players wouldn’t have to behave any differently than they do in cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where WTA events are already held.

Nobody can force someone to behave in a certain manner; behaviour is entirely up to the individual. All you need to know is that every nation has its own laws and customs,” the woman remarked.

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The same thing that occurred in Dubai has happened here. In Dubai, how do they behave? Since we are all neighbours, we are all the same. How would the players act in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates?

Before the agreement for the WTA Finals was finalised, WTA CEO Steve Simon stated that members of the LGBTQ+ community were involved on fact-finding trips to Saudi Arabia.

Ons Jabeur, the world no. 9 player from Tunisia, has also reaffirmed her support for the Saudi Finals.

In Madrid, she remarked, “As an Arab woman, I’m very proud of some things that are moving there in Saudi.”

As Princess Reema stated, you ought to visit Saudi Arabia, stay there, and make your own judgement.

“Chances have always been important to me, and I go there not just to play tennis but also to give younger women the chance to see their role models and feel like they can accomplish anything.”

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