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Tennis Legend Martina Navrátilová Speaks at the US State Department

Offers her Insight at the Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights

Standing before representatives from sports federations, governments, sponsors, unions, rights advocates and athletes, tennis champion Martina Navrátilová gave a riveting speech on October 13, 2016, sharing three key principles to add to the first of its kind, prestigious conference:  “Sport has the power to change the world, sport should be safe and accessible for all, and, when sport is not safe and accessible for all, there is a responsibility to do something about it.”  

Emphasizing that “hosting a mega-sporting event is an honor, not a right,” she then outlined her hopes of what the summit should achieve. Foremost, Martina Navrátilová urged that “individuals, organizations and activists work together to apply comprehensive human rights standards to the bidding process for every mega-sporting event.” Secondly and thirdly, she hoped that “these standards are agreed upon and adopted” with “mechanisms for accountability.”  

Martina Navrátilová then went on to share her own life’s experiences in leaving former communist Czechoslovakia for the democratic United States, where she stood for equal opportunities and principles such as equal pay. In closing and above all, she stressed the importance of reforms to ensure “that every athlete, employee and fan can be safe… and have equal protection under the law,” especially in regards to women and the LGBT community.

To read Martina Navrátilová’s speech in its entirety, please visit here.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic is currently celebrating this Czech-American tennis legend, who took women’s tennis to another level and inspired the world with her unsurpassed records, via its Mutual Inspirations Festival 2016 – Martin Navrátilová.