Russia’s chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports has spoken out in favor of the country’s top-ranked WTA tennis player after she came out as gay. Daria Kasatkina received backlash from two politicians for her appearance in a YouTube video in which she confirmed she had a girlfriend, shared the difficulty of succeeding as a tennis player without changing citizenships and condemned the war.
Kasatkina appeared in a YouTube video filmed by Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko, in which she confirmed she had a girlfriend, sharing the struggles of being gay in Russia. The world number 12 had already come out as bisexual last year, but said she was inspired by fellow countrywoman and countrywoman Nadya Karpova, who recently came out as gay.
When asked to confirm if she had a girlfriend, the 25-year-old simply said ‘yes’ and has since taken to social media to share photos of herself and her partner , figure skater Natalia Zabiiako. But the four-time winner of the title has been condemned by several Russian politicians for her comments in the video – both about being gay and about other topics.
Now a top Russian sports politician has come out to defend Kasatkina and said she deserves support as a tennis player, her private life should not be discussed as someone else’s business . Dmitry Svishchev, head of the State Duma sports committee, said Sport24“His personal life shouldn’t interest anyone. Unless it’s yellow press.
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“I believe that Daria can live with whoever she wants. Let him meet, converge, divorce. No one should worry about it, because it only concerns Daria herself, her loved ones and her parents.” And the 53-year-old also admitted he was happy to have an “interesting and powerful” athlete representing the country in tennis, a stark contrast to responses from other politicians.
“More importantly, we have to watch and care about his sporting performance. She needs to feel our support and how we support her. And everything else is nonsense,” he continued. “If Kasatkina is good from this, then let it be whatever she wants.
“And we should be happy that Daria got back on the plate and is competing. They are fighting for her in the WTA. We are happy for our federation to have such interesting and powerful athletes like Daria Kasatkina.
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Svishchev’s words come after two state deputies criticized former world No. -out gay.
In the video, Kasatkina also shared the struggles of trying to become a tennis professional in Russia with limited access to resources and little ability to travel given the country’s reputation elsewhere, urging kids who have had the chance to change citizenship to accept it. to succeed in tennis.
And a second State Duma deputy in Roman Teryushkov – also the former Minister of Physical Culture and Sports – accused the tennis pro of being a criminal as he said: “I see in many such calls promoting the transfer of our athletes to the national teams of other countries, in fact – a crime against the state.