Two tennis umpires file discrimination lawsuit -
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Two tennis umpires file discrimination lawsuit

Two tennis umpires file discrimination lawsuit
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
August 26, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) -- Two tennis umpires have filed a lawsuit alleging that the sport's international and national governing organizations discriminated against them after they complained that blacks and females were not treated fairly on the job.

The lawsuit against the International Tennis Federation and the U.S. Tennis Association was filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Thursday on behalf of Cecil Holland, 47, of Queens, and Sande French, 47, of Albion, Calif.

According to the lawsuit, Holland and French, who are black, and other minority umpires have been subjected to racial slurs while they faced limited opportunities in a hostile work environment.

From 1991 to 2004, Holland chaired more than 1,500 professional tennis matches, advancing faster than any umpire in history to the level of ``gold badge'' status, attained by about 20 to 25 of the roughly 2,000 umpires worldwide, the lawsuit said.

Still, he was never permitted to sit as a chair umpire at a U.S. Open Tennis singles finals match and was demoted after he complained in 1998 that a USTA employee uttered a racial slur.

In an interview, Holland said he found the discrimination against female umpires particularly disappointing.

``This is like going back to the world when women didn't have the right to vote,'' he said. ``It's sexism at its best. If women can officiate in the NBA, where it gets really heated, how can they not officiate for men in white shorts? I mean it's tennis, it's a gentlemen's sport.''

Since 1986, French has worked as an umpire at thousands of tennis matches and chaired about 1,500, the lawsuit said.

It said she faced discrimination and retaliation and lost income and employment opportunities after she complained that women were not permitted to chair important men's matches and that blacks were discriminated against.

The lawsuit also alleged that a senior manager in charge of the officiating program at the ITF was a sexual predator who tried to coerce his subordinate male employees into sexual relations and hampered the promotion of women umpires.

Chris Widmaier, a USTA spokesman, said the organization had no comment on the lawsuit. A recorded message at the ITF said the office was closed late Friday.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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I hope you don't get as many bad reps as I would have gotten for posting this, Justin! Good luck!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 09:57 PM
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whiny black people the age old trick of pulling out a race card to try and get ahead.

I wonder if they'll use Al Sharpton
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Justeenium
whiny black people the age old trick of pulling out a race card to try and get ahead.

I wonder if they'll use Al Sharpton
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SelesFan70
I hope you don't get as many bad reps as I would have gotten for posting this, Justin! Good luck!
This article isn't exploiting anyone so you wouldn't have posted it.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2005, 12:15 AM
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The lawsuit brings attention to the problem and I am glad. Go on fight for your rights and I hope you bring down some heads along with the fight.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2005, 01:18 AM
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isnt it funny how both umpires names are european countries! (ok its french not france but still!)

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2005, 03:14 AM
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Discrimination is a serious problem, but I guess it is difficult to be proved. Anyway, hope the problem can be well settled by the lawsuit.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2005, 03:23 AM
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Given the way that women and people of color are treated everywhere, I see no reason to doubt the veracity of the claims. Assuming they are true, I hope there is a ton of media coverage and a gigantic settlement. And that things change.

The so-called "race card" may be played from time to time, but it isn't really that often. And in this case, it certainly doesn't account for the gender discrimination and sexual harrassment charges.
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