The US Tennis Association has entered the political arena with a controversial waiver to allow players to wear logos or symbols supporting organisations like Black Lives Matter.

Under the rules players can wear emblems, logos, symbols or written identifications to ‘support the causes close to their hearts’. 

The USTA has said they can be worn during pre-match interviews and during walks onto the court prior to their matches, with no size restrictions, but during matches, they can only be worn if they meet certain sizing criteria.

“The USTA is committed to promoting racial equality,” their statement reads.

“We believe that if tennis is to thrive the sport must become more inclusive and must support people of colour. 

“Moreover, the USTA’s diversity and inclusion policy is one that espouses that anyone, from anywhere, should be able to play, compete, and participate in the sport, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or any other trait. 

“We further believe that in these unprecedented times, athletes be given the ability to express their beliefs while on court. 

“And although Black Lives Matter is the spark for this premise, the USTA feels strongly that permitting free speech for only one particular social justice cause is not free speech at all. 

“The USTA is therefore equally committed to permitting athletes at the 2020 US Open to express their position and support on social justice issues.”

Players are not obligated to participate in the initiative if they do not want to – but is unclear as to how these rules will managed.

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