Judy Murray suggests sexism was behind accusations that she was a ‘pushy Mum’

Kevin Palmer
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She has the tagline ‘pushy mum’ etched onto the top of her Twitter profile, yet Judy Murray suggests that label would never have been thrust upon her if she was a man.

Speaking to the Game Changers podcast, the mother of Grand Slam champions Andy and Jamie Muarry opened up on the snipes that have come her way as her two boys forged a successful career at the top of the sport.

“I think that the British media, they kind of painted me as that pretty much from the first Wimbledon, where I was pumping my fist in the player box – which is possibly quite unusual for a mother of sons to do,” said Murray.

“I think what many people failed to realise was I had been there supporting them when nobody was watching them ever, all the way through, just because I do.

“So I always would get excited and positive and whatever, because you’re the only person that’s watching. If they need a bit of encouragement or a bit of energy to feed off or a bit of extra support if things aren’t going well, they are always going to look your way. So I was doing nothing different to what I would normally do.

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“I don’t think anybody would have made anything of it because it’s okay to be a competitive man or a driven ambitious man, but it was clearly, for many people, there was something wrong with being a competitive woman.

“I do think the dynamic of a mother of sons in sport is less usual, but if my kids had been rugby players or football players or cricketers, or even golfers, nobody would have known that I existed. It’s just the nature of tennis is such that you are in the player box, the cameras go to you because of the gaps in play. So I didn’t ask for it and I didn’t like it.”

Murray told Tennis365 last year that she was “surprised I’m still alive” after putting herself through an emotional roller coaster supporting her sons, but she added on the podcast that it has been a joyous journey.

“For me, everything was about fun and opportunity and learning and trying to improve and being supportive and of course in an individual sport the onus is very much on the parents to make things happen for the kids,” she added.

The Game Changers is available across all platforms including apple podcasts, Spotify, Google and Stitcher, or you can listen to the latest episode here – https://pod.fo/e/a21f6

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