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Russia’s top-ranked female tennis player Daria Kasatkina has been accused of a “crime against the state” by two politicians after she urged young tennis players in her home country to change citizenship for more opportunities in a YouTube video. The world No 12 also came out as gay in the video and condemned the war in Ukraine, and has been told she “overheated in the sun” in the ridiculous backlash from two state deputies.
Kasatkina joined Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko in a lengthy YouTube video with fellow ATP pro Andrey Rublev, in which she came out as gay and confirmed she had a girlfriend, spoke out against the war in Ukraine, and explained why young tennis players in Russia hoping to go pro were better off switching allegiances.
“And I can tell the children: if there is such an opportunity, guys, change it,” she said after revealing that it was difficult to get access to the right equipment and be given the ability to travel given Russia’s reputation to the rest of the world. The four-time title winner has now been ridiculed by two politicians who have slammed her for encouraging kids to change their citizenship.
“A vivid example of the school of “individualists”, adherents of the West,” State Duma deputy Roman Teryushkov wrote on his Telegram social media account, sharing a clip from the video. “Having publicly admitted her non-traditional sexual orientation, the first racket of Russia, Daria Kasatkina, urged young athletes to change their citizenship.”
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And the former Minister of Physical Culture and Sports also accused the 25-year-old of a “crime against the state” for her comment as he added: “I see in such appeals the promotion of the transfer of our athletes to the national teams of other countries, in fact – a crime against the state.”
Another deputy of the State Duma, Vitaly Milonov, joined Teryushkov in slamming Kasatkina for the citizenship claim, also accusing her of trying to be “fashionable” by coming out as gay and refuting her comments about the difficulty of being homosexual in Russia. “Kasatkina succumbed to some fashion, or maybe she overheated in the sun,” he said in an interview with MetaRatings.
“In general, you don’t have to go into your personal life, this is purely her information. We can say that everyone has their shortcomings. But let Daria not be deceived, no one is interested in what orientation she is and what girl she lives with. We appreciate how she plays tennis, and what she does in her free time from sports is of no interest to anyone.”
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Despite claiming appreciation for her sporting ability, Milonov continued to insult the former world No 10 for admitting there were more opportunities for those who changed their citizenship.
“She must remember that we have a huge number of young tennis players who will listen to the stupidity that she blew it without thinking. She embarrassed the children, but they copy everything. They repeat not only what she does well, but also what is bad,” he added.
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