Former tennis player Martina Navratilova recently shared that she ‘lost millions’ after she came out as gay to the world.
Martina Navratilova is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, having won 18 major singles titles 31 major doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles, for a combined total of 59 majors, the most by any player. She dominated women’s tennis in the era of 1970s and 1980s.
In a podcast with American journalist Kara Swisher, On with Kara Swisher, was where she disclosed the matter.
In 1981, she revealed her bisexuality in an interview shortly after becoming a US citizen. Her marketability was heavily impacted due to her sexual orientation at the time when she was ruling the court.
She mentioned in the podcast that she lost a lot of money due to the sponsor’s ambivalence towards her, saying:
“Nobody said no, but nobody said yes either. I can’t say how much money I lost by being out, but it’s in millions, there’s no doubt about that.”– Martina Navratilova in the podcast
She added that she received a fair amount of sponsorship deals from Japan but not from America, and shared an anecdote told to her by her agent:
“I got deals in Japan, but not in America. You didn’t see any commercials. And my agent back then said, ‘ You know when I’m in a meeting in Madison Avenue, there’s always advertisers; you throw in different names, the people get excited….. When I throw in your name, the room goes silent.”-Martina Navratilova in the podcast
‘I learned to really cut the chaff’ – Martina Navratilova on being diagnosed with cancer
Martina Navratilova shared about battling with throat cancer earlier this year. She discovered a swollen lymph node on her neck, leading her to take medical tests. She also suffered from breast cancer back in 2010 for which she received radiation therapy.
In a recent interview with Kara Swisher, she shared her experience of being diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
“The second time I got diagnosed it was a holy sh*t, I could die in a year or less because the original doctor said it could be in my lungs or kidneys or liver, which would mean, it could also be in your brain. So before I knew exactly where it was, I was terrified that this could be a death sentence.”– Martina Navratilova in an interview
However, she was stated cancer-free in March and mentioned how she distanced herself from the negative people.
“When your health is at a crossroads like that, everything else takes second place. And I just learned to…..I learned to really cut the chaff, you know, stay away from people that don’t give me the energy, that suck it out of me.”– Martina Navratilova in an interview