Tennis pros and religion

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by AtomicForehand, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone else noticed the high percentage of pros on both the men's and women's tours who conspicuously wear a cross around their necks?

    Several players (Juan Martin del Potro probably being the most conspicuous) make a point of crossing themselves and kissing their fingers up to the sky when they win.

    Djokovic does both of these things, and has even been awarded, to great public fanfare, the highest distinction in the Serbian Orthodox Church.

    It would be interesting to do a study on how many athletes are atheist or non-religious and where they tend to come from (my guess is Northern and Western Europe). Looks like most of the Christians come from the U.S. and second- or third-world countries. Anybody know about the beliefs of players from Muslim or other non-Christian countries (mostly these would be in Asia)?

    I don't recall noticing other ostentatious displays of religion on the pro circuit other than Christian ones. This just got me wondering about how many pros might be Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, or other religions.
     
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  2. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Atheism is not a religion. Back OT, Uncle Toni has some pretty strong atheistic views, maybe Rafa has too?
     
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  3. Sri

    Sri New User

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    vatican is the true tennis goat
     
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  4. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    True, atheism is not a religion. Bad choice of word order on my part. I should have put it first in the sentence and then grouped all the religions together afterward.

    I believe I remember reading that Rafa does not believe in any gods. There was an interview with him somewhere. I'll try to find it.
     
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  5. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    for real rafa is godless?
     
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  6. NDFM

    NDFM Rookie

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    i think he is although i read somewhere he might be agnostic, kinda similar i guess
     
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  7. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Rafa is atheist yeah
     
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  8. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Rafa is definitely moving up in my book.

    He must have figured it out when he realized if god existed he would never have allowed so much topspin.
     
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  9. dimeaxe

    dimeaxe Semi-Pro

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    If there is any God of tennis, I believe Roger thinks he is the one actually:)
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal is the real God of tennis
     
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  11. PSNELKE

    PSNELKE Legend

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    Well my fellow German players don't seem to practice any religion.

    I'd say those guys from the Balkans(Serbs, Croats etc), Italians, Spanyards and Portuguese are the most religious Europeans.

    I know that Fed is catholic and even got to meet the pope. But he doesn't really talk about his religious believes in public, which is perfectly fine IMO.

    Nadal seems agnostic to me which is "unusual" for Spanyards?!

    As much as I've seen almost all South American players seem to have a more or less strong religious belief. (Mainly catholic)

    I really don't know about muslim tennis players for the simple reason that there aren't too many on the Pro Tour.
    Tennis is certainly not yet as popular as football, basketball in muslim countries, but seems like tennis is slowly establishing itself there tho.
     
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  12. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Rafa believes in the devil but not god?

    That does not make sense.

    OP....I think there is no correlation between any religion, any ethinicity and especially not tennis.

    It just those who are religious in tennis....cheer too much about God helping him through. God shouldn't pick sides in a tennis match. This is human life...competing with free will with no determined fate till then end result.
     
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  13. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    maybe it was more polite than religious when he was doing it on the court (even if he did this one week buddhist retreat in a temple ?), but anyway i guess it's worth mentionning it in this thread...
    [​IMG]

    he believes in tio toni, and all the fairies and magical creatures he can make appear.
     
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  14. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    Fun stuff.
     
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  15. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    I thin kthe mods have deleted any post that was about about just atheism as opposed to tennis players and athiesm/religion. Which seems fair enough - I certainly wandered off topic.
     
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  16. Emet74

    Emet74 Professional

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    Fed is officially Catholic but not very religious; he's said he does believe in God but when asked about life after death he answered he's "50-50" on that one.

    Safin was Muslim tho' not religious, the doubles player Qureshi is Muslim as well of course, and Israeli players like Erlich and Ram, Sela and Shahar Pe'er are Jewish, as is Jesse Levine from USA and probably some others as well.
     
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  17. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    Correct. Please keep to the topic as comments regarding religion alone will be removed. As most of you probably know, we no longer allow "Rants & Raves" posts -- those generally dealing with politics and with religion.

    Thank you,
    Tiffani, TW
     
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  18. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    That grip is tiny!
     
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  19. Rock Strongo

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    He married a supermodel, he didn't have to compensate.
     
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  20. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    They broke up. I'm sure he bumped up his grip size 2 or 3 sizes after that.
     
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  21. TennisLovaLova

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    Fortunatly, religious displays of love towards a god or a prophet in tennis are discreet, really nothing compared to what we can see in soccer for exemple

    This is what brazil did in 2002 after winning the world cup
    http://youtu.be/B20I78DscKc

    FIFA immediatly banned any kind of religious celebration of victory after this final cause it was proselitysme/evangelist, an attitude you dont wanna see in world most broacsted events.
     
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  22. Great Uncle Bulgaria

    Great Uncle Bulgaria New User

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    I remember Michael Chang being very open and vocal about his (Xtn) faith. It got on some people's nerves; Edberg joked that he had no chance in the FO 89final, given Chang had Jesus on his side.

    Andre Agassi was also said to be quite religious in his younger days at least. Not sure if this was a publicity tool though.

    On the women's side Margaret Court comes to mind but don't know whether she found her faith after her retirement.

    Also I am not sure whether wearing a cross or other symbol necessarily means someone is religious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
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  23. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    well most tennis players are a bit lunatic and believe in all kind of crap like not touching lines, folding the towels in a certain way or putting their equipment in a certain order.

    I think this is because in tennis you are alone and your thoughts can wander so you often develope a lot of superstitions to keep their mind from wandering and giving themselves something to believe when it gets tough.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2012
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  24. TopFH

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    It's okay if a tennis player is Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist or whatever he or she thinks is okay, just as long as they are not too boisterous about it. I'm okay with things like Delpo or Nole crossing themselves, but things like Chang's "Jesus is on my side" are just too absurd or preposterous.
     
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  25. AtomicForehand

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    Maybe Delpo and Nole crossing themselves is equivalent to Chang's statement--as in "Thank you, God, for choosing ME to win"?
     
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  26. Crisstti

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    Rafa has been considerably milder in his comments (compared to Toni), but he's made it clear he's agnostic.

    Didn't know Fed was catholic.

    What about other top players, like Murray, Berdych, Tsonga?, anyone knows?.
     
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  27. sbengte

    sbengte Legend

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    Not true. Rafa is a follower of the Church of Fed.
     
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  28. DanaKz

    DanaKz Rookie

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    Marat and Dinara Safins are muslims.
     
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  29. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Murray is nominally Church of Scotland but I don't think he has any strong religious views.
     
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  30. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I didn't realize that there is a church of scotland. funny how all the british countries invented their own church. the english church too was invented by a former english king:D (I think to get rid of his wife but I'm not sure about this). Really crazy the english with their religion:).

    Back to topic: I don't think there are a lot of good muslim players right now but a few years ago there were some good players from marocco. what happened to maroccan tennis?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  31. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    So Delpo and Pope Francis seem to be quite thick.
     
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  32. Who Am I?

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    Nadal is an atheist. That's unusual given that he is Spanish.

    I think Murray is somewhat religious, given that he points to the sky after winning. Safin is a Muslim. Wow, with his party lifestyle and numerous girlfriends, I could have never guessed.

    And Fed is a Catholic just like me. At least we have something in common.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
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  33. rabidranger

    rabidranger Rookie

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    The sport is dominated by players from a strong Christian tradition/practice. Not surprised.
     
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  34. rossi46

    rossi46 Professional

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    Just like Greece, the Orthodox Church has a strong standing in Serbia, when the Greeks won the 2004 European Nation's Cup (football) they were presented the trophy by a priest in a large public celebration in Greece.

    Not sure what you mean by most Christians are from the US, almost all Europeans are Christians i.e. Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox. There are hardly any players from the US these days.
     
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  35. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Rafa coming out of this thread way higher in my estimation
     
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  36. Incognito

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    Nishikori is a radical shintoist. :D
     
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  37. Incognito

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    He can still be a muslim even with all the partying.
     
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  38. Who Am I?

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    The US has the most number of Christians.
     
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  39. Incognito

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    El Aynaoui and the rest of the Moroccans in 90s were muslims or have muslim backgrounds..
     
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  40. Who Am I?

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    True.......
     
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  41. AtomicForehand

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    Mine too.

    10FlyingSpaghettiMonsters
     
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  42. winstonplum

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    Uncle Toni is an atheist. As an intellectual, a free-thinker, and not a simp, he's never been afraid to speak his mind and speak truth to powerful institutions--always admirable characterists.

    Nadal has stated that he's agnostic. Toni actually has some funny, strong put-downs about religion, stupidity and superstition.
     
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  43. Who Am I?

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    What about the rest of Nadal's family? His parents, sister and GF?
     
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  44. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder if his mother still guts his toenails. I remember a match where he had a medical time out & because his toe nails were so long they were paining him. The medic cut them for him.

    I guess he hadn't seen mom for a long time.
     
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  45. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    historically the russian muslims have not been very radical in their religion although it got a little more since they have been oppressed by the russian regime (often radicalisation happens more for political reasons).
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Ginny Wade┬┤s dad was a presbiterian preacher.

    Andrea Jaeger became a mum

    Connors,Mc Enroe and Evert came from catholic families, which is not a predominant religion in US ( or it was not when they were kids, at least)
     
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  47. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    I think a few years ago Federer said that he no longer believed.
     
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  48. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Yes it was--more so than now.
     
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  49. Who Am I?

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    Link please, but anyway I don't really care tbh.

    But I'm assuming the reason he had an impromptu marriage was because Mirka got pregnant, which indicates that he was still a Catholic in 2009.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
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  50. TopFH

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    Really? I have not seen anything to the contrary.
     
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