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Andy Murray rejected massive payday over human rights concerns

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SCOTTISH tennis star Andy Murray said no to a seven-figure payday for an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia over the country’s human-rights record.

The decision was revealed by Matt Gentry, who co-founded Murray’s 77 Sports Management agency.

Speaking on the SportUnlocked podcast, Gentry said: “He’s turned down stuff in Saudi; I don’t think he will play there just because of what’s gone on.

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“If he feels strongly about something he will happily call it out. He’s not scared to voice his opinion.

“They have done a few exhibition matches where they have paid eye-watering sums of money to get players over there and he just wasn’t interested.

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“For turning up and playing a match, if you are a former No 1 player in the world, in the Middle East you could potentially earn $1 million to $2 million. That’s for the top players, the big global names, and I think golf is pretty similar.”

Saudi Arabia has been accused of using huge sums of money to “sportswash” – bringing in big stars to improve the country’s image amid ongoing human rights abuses.

Murray has made a habit of standing up for the causes he believes in.

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He attracted plaudits and the ire of the likes of Julia Hartley-Brewer this month for his response to a video showing Nigel Farage meeting Novak Djokovic’s brother, as the row over the Serbian tennis star’s lack of Covid vaccination rumbled on.

Murray wrote: “Please record the awkward moment when you tell them you’ve spent most of your career campaigning to have people from Eastern Europe deported.”

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