Why more sports stars should follow Andy Murray's example

With their multi-million pound sponsorship deals, eye-watering salaries and tournament bonus earnings, sports stars could be forgiven for simply doing what they do best and going home.

Andy Murray talks after winning his Men's Singles Second Round match against Oscar Otte of Germany during Day Three of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

This is certainly the status quo for sports stars, most of whom are quite happy not to rock the boat.

But recently, we saw footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba take a stance against sponsors Coca-Cola and Heineken respectively at Euro 2020 press conferences. (Although there are several more 'problematic' Euro 2020 brand partners they could also consider calling out.)

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And Marcus Rashford's brilliant campaign on free school meals was as inspiring as it was effective (and maddening for the government).

Throughout his career, Andy Murray has been a refreshingly honest voice in tennis, and one of the most vocal champions of equal pay for female players.

Last night, following his arduous Wimbledon win over Oscar Otte in the second round, Murray was asked about the ongoing recognition of frontline workers at SW19, who have been given free tickets and applauded.

"It’s fantastic that they have been able to come along and watch some of the tennis. Hopefully they can enjoy it and, yeah, hopefully the politicians can realise that they deserve more than what they are getting paid just now.

“I think, what is it, they got something like a 1% pay rise? It was pathetic. So, yeah, they obviously deserve a lot more than that. They have done an amazing job getting us through the pandemic.”

He could have easily stuck to the usual PR-approved platitudes, like most of his contemporaries do.

But he chose to make a point, to express an opinion.

Here's to more sports stars using their platform to challenge the status quo.

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