Sania Mirza
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Ace tennis star Sania Mirza is known for speaking her mind and she makes sure she tells everyone what she feels. On Thursday, the player made it clear that wives and partners who travel with teams on tours are not 'distraction or weakness'.
Ace tennis star Sania Mirza is known for speaking her mind and she makes sure she tells everyone what she feels. On Thursday, the player made it clear that wives and partners who travel with teams on tours are not 'distraction or weakness'.
She hit out at the management where WAGs of cricketers are not being allowed on tours, saying such attitude stems from a “deeper problem which says that a woman is a distraction she cannot be a strength”.
 
Speaking at the India Economic Summit, Mirza - who is now the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia - said: “Many times, including our cricket team and in many teams, I have seen that wives or girlfriends are not allowed on tour because the boys will be distracted”.
 
“What does that mean? What is it that the women are doing that is going to distract the men so much?” Mirza asked.
 
“See the thing is that comes from a deeper problem which says that a woman is a distraction she cannot be a strength,” the Indian women’s tennis star lamented.
 
She even argued saying that when teams travel with their loved ones they play much better because they feel happier when they come back to the room.
 
“They don’t come back to an empty room, they can go out and have dinner ... when you have your wife or your partner there it gives you support, it gives you love,” she added.
 
When someone asked about what she felt when she was blamed for the Pakistan team’s loss in the World Cup, Mirza said: “And I’m not even from there, what powers I must have”.
 
She further said, “Anushka Sharma is blamed if Virat makes a zero, like what does that have anything to do with anything. It makes no sense.”
 
“... if we address the problem that a woman can be a strength or is a strength rather than a distraction or a weakness we might conquer these issues.”
 
Mirza also said that girls need to be encouraged from a young age to take up sports. She feels that girls should not be made to feel guilty about that their skin will become dark and no one would marry them.
 
“I was eight and everybody thought nobody is going to marry me because I would become dark and at eight I was like I think I’ll be fine,” Mirza said.
 
“Once women start believing in themselves that they are equal and they deserve to be treated equally and given equal opportunity ...if women get right kind of backing and opportunity like everybody else they can conquer the world,” Mirza said.
 
“For example, we are at the world stage and we get equal prize money at grand slams but we still need to justify why we get equal prize money,” Mirza said.
 
She further said, “That is inequality, the fact that as women we constantly need to give an explanation as to why are we equal and why is that like that is not fair.”
 
Mirza added that India is working towards becoming a sporting nation, not just a cricketing nation.
 
“Fit India movement launched by the PM is a step in the right direction for us to understand that sports can bring us all together and we still can bring us together,” Mirza concluded.