Fans believe men's tennis has its first active LGBTQ+ players after French star shares image kissing fellow pro
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French tennis star Fabien Reboul has spurred speculation that the ATP Tour may have its first active male LGBTQ+ players.
The player shared an image of himself and fellow pro player Maxence Broville embracing each other to his Instagram.
He captioned the photo: “I did not fall in love with you, your love pushed me to it.”
Broville later re-shared the image to his own Instagram account accompanied by emoji hands making a heart.
The two are wearing their kits from the Slade Toulousain Tennis Club which they are both a part of.
While neither man has confirmed whether they are gay or bisexual, fans online have speculated that the photo represents tennis’ first openly male gay active players.
Reboul is currently ranked 54th in the doubles world ranking, whilst Broville is ranked 872nd in singles competition.
The photo has opened up the possibility that the ATP Tour has its first active gay players.
While the women’s side of the game has had open LGBTQ+ players in the past, the tour has been criticised in the past for having no male representation in the community.
Tennis fans online were ecstatic at the possibility.
One fan tweeted: “Looks like we (finally) have LGBTQ+ representative from an active ATP player.”
Looks like we (finally) have LGBTQ+ representation from an active ATP player 🏳️🌈— Joey Dillon (@joeydillon) December 5, 2022
Fabien Reboul, the doubles World No. 54, posts this IG story with fellow French player, Max Broville.
Note: nothing’s been confirmed from either, but this could be a big step for men’s tennis. pic.twitter.com/YMEoYH4Mqh
Another fan said: “French tennis players Fabien Reboul and Max Broville may have just convinced me to start paying attention to tennis.”
However, others second-guessed whether the displays of affection were genuine.
One Twitter user wrote: “For me, the problem is not Fabien Reboul who pretends to kiss a friend as a joke and posts the photo, the problem is that in doing so he presents himself as a gay icon and as the first ATP player to come out (recently) in a very particular period. And it's just queerbaiting.”
In October, Spanish football legends Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol were slammed for appearing to joke about coming out in a relationship with each other.
The former Real Madrid goalkeeper had tweeted: "I hope you respect me: I'm gay." before using the hashtag felizdomingo, which means happy Sunday in Spanish.
Barcelona legend Carles Puyol responded, saying: "It's time to tell our story, Iker" followed by a love heart and kissing emoji.
The tweets were later deleted with Casillas claiming his account had been hacked before apologising to the LGBY community.
Hours after both posts were deleted, Puyol apologised for his actions.
"I have made a mistake," he wrote on Twitter. "Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and totally out of place. I understand that it may have hurt sensitivities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA+ community."