Under pressure, Justin Gimelstob has officially resigned from his position on the ATP board, the former player announced today on social media.
Gimelstob was up for re-election next month in Rome, but amid pressure from the tennis community and his own personal issues, he has stepped down from his role he has held since 2008.
Here’s his statement:
I am resigning effective immediately from the ATP Board of Directors.
It has been an honor and a privilege to hold this position for the past 11 years. My job was to best represent the players, the ATP, and be a custodian of the sport. My choices and actions last Halloween night prohibit me from doing that at this time. My role is designed to work on behalf of the players and the sport and it is clear that I have now become a significant burden and distraction to both. That is not something that could or should continue. I’m heartbroken to walk away from something I love so much, but given the current climate I do not deserve to be in this position of influence.
For the better part of my life, tennis has been much more than my occupation, it has been my passion. I love the sport. It has given me so much personally and professionally, for which I am very grateful. Along the way I have had some successes and failures, and undoubtedly have made my share of mistakes. I sincerely hope that I can and will be judged by my complete body of work throughout my career on and off the court; my passion, my energy, and my tireless work on behalf of my constituents and the game.
Giving up or conceding is not in my DNA, but it has become clear that I need to take a step back – for the good of the players, the game and for myself. Solely for that reason, I now more than ever appreciate that people in elected positions of influence must be held to the highest standard of conduct. I breached that standard on a night last October. I have always taken responsibility for my role in the events that evening and will continue to do so. While I can, have, and will continue to dispute the way that evening has been depicted, the material matter is that my judgment that evening compromised the sport and the people that entrusted me with the authority to represent them. I am deeply saddened and remorseful that my actions have caused the sport, players, my colleagues, friends and family such a distraction. Actions have consequences and me stepping away from a role I cherished is one of them that I accept.
It has been an honor to represent the players, who I believe are the greatest athletes in the world. Thank you to the current Player Council and all the Player Council members throughout my 11 years as an ATP Board Member that have selflessly given their time to improve the sport. I want to thank all of my fellow Board Members – it has been a pleasure working with you all. I want to thank our incredible ATP staff and team, the ATP Tournaments and the entire tennis family for letting me be part of your inner circle.
I also want to acknowledge and thank my critics. I appreciate that in choosing this profession; whether on the court, in the television booth, or in the boardroom, critique and scrutiny come with the platform you are given. I respect your profession, your opinions, and appreciate your desire to hold everyone accountable to a standard that matches the access and opportunity we are given as stewards of the sport.
I hope that I have the opportunity in the future to contribute to the sport that I love and believe I can be an asset to once again. However I also appreciate that opportunity needs to be earned. I am committed to working on myself, dealing with the challenges in my personal life, and better equipping myself with the tools to handle the pain of losing my father and the ongoing litigation for equal custody of the most important thing in my life, my son.
Last night while processing all of this I fortunately was able to spend some time with someone I respect greatly. He comforted me with the belief that from periods of pain and suffering arise a great opportunity for personal growth. We reflected on “failure” and how failure is not something to fear but rather to embrace and from which to learn. Specifically the theory of “falling forward.” I sincerely hope to be able to do exactly that, learn from my mistakes and become the best version of myself, not just for me but more importantly for my son.
Sincerely, Justin Gimelstob
Among those in the running to replace the 42-year-old Gimelstob’s “Americas” seat on the 6-person ATP Board are Brad Gilbert, Tim Mayotte and Andy Murray’s former coach Dani Vallverdu.
Gimelstob reportedly is in Spain where he met with Novak Djokovic, who serves on the Player Council, to tell him the news in person.
And in a New York times interview, he stated he would also be continuing his leave from TV duties with the Tennis Channel.
The note for the board set will be held May 14 in Rome.
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