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EXCLUSIVE: I Was Sexually Harassed By My Coach In The Name Of ‘Massage’ – Tennis Player

A female Nigerian tennis player has come out to speak up about how she was sexually harassed by her tennis coach about nine years ago.

The teenage tennis player whose identity is concealed for her safety and to avoid stigmatization, told Nigeria Tennis Live in confidence that the coach whom she said hails from Delta State, was consistently harassing her and her colleagues.

She noted quite sadly during the interview that: “I couldn’t handle it because it was not a one-time thing. Not even twice or thrice“.

While shedding more light on being sexually harassed, the player who has participated in many junior and senior national tournaments further explained that: “It happened (several times) on the court about nine years ago. He had a name for it “MASSAGE“.

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“We had two tennis courts fenced together. He picked a corner that was more hidden and made some arrangements where he had exercise mat or something to spread on the floor.

“He would ask us to do some exercises laying down first when we were done he would pull down whatever we had on to start touching and putting his fingers in our private parts. He also has this shea butter that he would rub on our body.

Sexual Harassment

“He calls it massage but that’s not what he does. He made it compulsory for all of us that he was bringing up except for those whose parents were rich and would deal with him if their kids ever told them.

READ ALSO: Do Nigerian Coaches Really Sexually Abuse, Exploit Their Players?

“And also the chest area. I never liked it but anytime I refused it there was a big problem”.

As a result of the constant harassment, the player started giving the coach attitude and it was becoming obvious that there was something wrong between them.

Continuing, she said: “He would begin to tell people I’m very stubborn, that I don’t listen and that I disrespect him and stuffs like that. But I couldn’t say what the actual problem was.

“Anyone that know me and him knows we always had issues but till date nobody knows the actual story.”

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The harassment was persistent, and the power dynamics left her and other victims with little recourse. “He made it look like something we must do before training. We had no choice,” she recounts with a sense of frustration and helplessness.

Asked if she told her parents about her ordeal, but she noted that she didn’t mention it to them as it mostly happened when she was on the court.

Recall that this is not the first time players are speaking up about being sexually harassed by their coaches as there was an incident of a coach allegedly impregnating his own daughter and molesting another during a tournament.

Nigeria Tennis Live is by this article, also reaching out to other players who may have been sexually harassed and want to speak up about, to kindly send a mail to [email protected].

Please note that you will remain as anonymous as you desire, but your story will be shared with the world, for others to learn from and to put an end to such acts.



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