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post #1 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I saw this article and thought I would share. I also must have missed the boycott of IW on the WS behalf, thus the shock and outrage that they didn't lead the charge and boycott here. It never cease to surprise me the bunch of hypocritics and double standard in the world


Williams sisters should've taken a stand
By Jemele Hill

Some eight years ago, Venus Williams withdrew from a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., before she was due to meet her sister, Serena, in a semifinal match, which drew raucous boos from the crowd.

More than a few people speculated it was match fixing. According to their father, Richard Williams, as he and Venus were walking to their seats for the championship match to watch Serena, some fans called Venus the n-word, and another fan threatened to skin him alive.

"It's the worst act of prejudice I've seen since they killed Martin Luther King," Richard Williams said at the time.

The issue of the Williams sisters' double burden of gender and race was once again a national discussion. Tournament organizers denied the charges, and others intensely debated the accuracy of Richard Williams' allegations. Martina Hingis called the accusations "total nonsense" and went as far as to say she didn't think there was any racism at all on the WTA Tour.

But did the Williams sisters back down? No. In fact, they have boycotted the Indian Wells tournament ever since.

Given that experience, you would think they would have shown the same backbone and determination this week in Dubai after a fellow tour member became a victim of discrimination.

By now you've probably heard about the controversy surrounding Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who was not allowed to play at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Serena Williams defeated Shahar Peer in the 2007 Australian Open.
A Jewish woman traveling on an Israeli passport, Peer was denied a visa in what appears to be a clear-cut case of unfair treatment. Even though WTA rules state a player can participate in any event as long as she has the required ranking, tournament director Salah Tahlak said he feared the presence of Peer, the 45th-ranked female tennis player in the world, would have "antagonized" fans.

It was a handy, but pitiful, excuse. Yes it's true that protesters demonstrated when Peer played at a tournament in New Zealand, waving anti-Israel signs and yelling disruptively. But if security was such an issue, why was Israeli Andy Ram given special permission to play in the Dubai men's event next week?

This was a rare opportunity to make a significant stand. If anyone should have accepted the challenge and taken up Peer's fight, it should have been the Williams sisters, whose immense success always has been intertwined with the underlying tension created by their race and gender.

It didn't matter that Peer said it would have been unfair to the players if the event were canceled. The two biggest icons in women's tennis should have boycotted anyway, instead of offering their colleague surface-level support and shallow rationalizations.

"I have to look at the bigger picture," Venus told reporters. "The big picture is that Shahar Peer didn't get a chance to play, but making an immediate decision we also have to look at sponsors, fans and everyone who has invested a lot in the tournament."

The Tennis Channel and the Wall Street Journal's European edition were the only ones who seemed to understand it was time to act, not talk. The Tennis Channel canceled its coverage of the event, and the newspaper pulled its advertising. Meanwhile, the Williams sisters chose money over principle and met Friday in a semifinal matchup, with Venus winning in a third-set tiebreaker.

"Sponsors are important to us," Venus said. "We wouldn't be here without sponsors and we can't let them down. Whatever we do, we need to do as a team -- players, sponsors, tour and whoever -- and not all break off in one direction. We are team players."

If playing for a lucrative purse is more important than taking a stand for fairness, Venus needs to re-evaluate her definition of a team player.

If this had been a racial issue, the Williams sisters would never have played in Dubai, and I couldn't imagine Venus' expressing such unabashed loyalty to her sponsors, or even caring what sponsors thought. I'm certain the WTA would have withdrawn and the media coverage worldwide would have been unrelenting.

Some of you probably think I'm being unfair by singling out the Williams sisters. There were 53 other female players in the tournament and any one of them could have boycotted on Peer's behalf.

It's not like the Williams sisters were the only ones who failed Peer. The WTA had some early indications Peer's participation could be denied. The tour should have threatened to boycott from the onset. Now that all this has transpired, it shouldn't sanction another event in Dubai.

But I expect more from Venus and Serena because they've experienced discrimination. I'm as disappointed in them as I was with Tiger Woods, who said Augusta National Golf Club had the right to set club rules however it saw fit, even if it meant excluding female members. Woods clearly forgot the club once used that same excuse to prohibit golfers of color from playing there.

When you're a leader of your sport, you bear a different responsibility, and the Williams sisters have assumed ownership of the torch once carried by Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe.

If legacy and equality are important to Venus and Serena, they will give Dubai the Indian Wells treatment. Otherwise they'll be sanctioning treatment they would never accept for themselves.
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post #2 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I read this an hour. LMAO at hingis saying particularly back then there is no racism on tour. Its everywhere.........cant be stopped. dumb bitch. dam i thought i liked her till i read that
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post #3 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Just saw this article on ESPN.....

Another example of a poorly researched, poorly thought out blog masquerading as journalism.
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post #4 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

""Meanwhile, the Williams sisters chose money over principle""
-- well what actually Symbolizes when
Shahar accepted that 44000+ money??
she shoulve refused the money and take the dubai authorities to
a higher court...
"worth fighting for??"
- ill hush first...

TAKE NOTE:
SERENA DID NOT BOYCOTT INDIAN WELLS WHEN SHE
FIRST HEARD THAT BOO
FIRST HEARD A RACIST REMARK


"Sponsors are important to us," Venus said. "We wouldn't be here without sponsors and we can't let them down. Whatever we do, we need to do as a team -- players, sponsors, tour and whoever -- and not all break off in one direction. We are team players."
- hoorah!!!


"If legacy and equality are important to Venus and Serena, they will give Dubai the Indian Wells treatment. Otherwise they'll be sanctioning treatment they would never accept for themselves."
- its not that easy to boycott a tournament that has treated you well noh??
time will state their opinion...
im guessing that they'll wait at the right moment to speak out??
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post #5 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Journalist are idiots when it comes to tennis ine general

GEWT GURL


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post #6 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:43 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I did not see any players take a stand and boycott Indian Wells on behalf of the Williams sisters. Besides, the situations are completely differently. I don't see how one can compare fans' treatment of players at a tournament to tournament organizers and country officials making a concerted effort (adopting a policy) to discriminate against players from a certain country.

The Williams sisters are choosing not to play the Indian Wells tournament because they did not appreciate the way the tennis fans in that city treated both of them and their family. As independent contractors, they are entitled to play in cities where THEY feel fans will appreciate them, or, at the very least, not be so blatantly vulgar, rude and offensive. If they feel they were treated so badly that they are not comfortable playing there ever again - so be it. Indian Wells' loss is another city's gain.

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post #7 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:54 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I didn't bother to read the article but considering the late date at which Shahar was denied the visa, clearly the tournament was going to take place. Kudos to those who were able to pull from the tournament but that doesn't mean it was viable for everyone.
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post #8 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmokb View Post
I saw this article and thought I would share. I also must have missed the boycott of IW on the WS behalf, thus the shock and outrage that they didn't lead the charge and boycott here. It never cease to surprise me the bunch of hypocritics and double standard in the world.

ARTICLE: Williams sisters should've taken a stand
By Jemele Hill

" Some eight years ago, Venus Williams withdrew from a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., before she was due to meet her sister, Serena, in a semifinal match, which drew raucous boos from the crowd........................................

If this had been a racial issue, the Williams sisters would never have played in Dubai, and I couldn't imagine Venus' expressing such unabashed loyalty to her sponsors, or even caring what sponsors thought. I'm certain the WTA would have withdrawn and the media coverage worldwide would have been unrelenting."

It would be helpful to know the source of this article.

It's true that if a player was denied admittance to Dubai because she was black, there'd have been a deafening worldwide outcry and the tournament immediately canceled. If Dubai had said no admittance to any Jewish player from any country the outcry would have been just as loud. However, it was due to her nationality --- technically at least --- thus people didn't read it as racial/ethnic. At least in people's perception that a subtle, but important, difference.

And remember that Venus was one of only a handful of players who spoke out against Dubai for denying Peer's visa. Courageous enough.


.
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post #9 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbynorwich View Post
It would be helpful to know the source of this article.

It's true that if a player was denied admittance to Dubai because she was black, there'd have been a deafening worldwide outcry and the tournament immediately canceled. If Dubai had said no admittance to any Jewish player from any country the outcry would have been just as loud. However, it was due to her nationality --- technically at least --- thus people didn't read it as racial/ethnic. At least in people's perception that a subtle, but important, difference.

And remember that Venus was one of only a handful of players who spoke out against Dubai for denying Peer's visa. Courageous enough.


.


The article is from ESPN, and I find it rediculous that people are asking the Williams sisters to take a stand, when there was no one to stand up for them.
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post #10 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 12:16 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Oh my god I cannot believe this article. The most prominent thought that first springs to mind is 'why the hell is it the williams responsiblity to protest on behalf of Shahar Peer? Why single them out for chrissakes????

At the end of the day, womens tennis players, just like the men, are selfish people! They need to be in order to remain competitive on tour. When Monica Seles got stabbed in the back by a fan of her rival, one player only supported her and that was Gabriela Sabatini much to her eternal credit. Every other player was more concerned about ranking points and grabbing the number 1 spot for themselves than saving it for Monica which would have been the correct moral thing to do.
Nothings changed on tour and I dont really blame the players for this at all, and can someone please tell me why the article only mentions Venus and Serena and none of the other top players who played in Dubai?

Of even more significance, there's this little gap in Graf's resume the size of the hole in the ozone layer: It's called Monica Seles. Was Graf the best female player of all time? She wasn't even the best in the heart of her career.
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post #11 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 01:22 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

Who ever wrote this article is a joke pretending to be a journalist. Why should Venus and Serena boycott the tournament as sign of protest because Peer was not granted a visa? I am still waiting for someone to take a stand and support the Williams' decision to not play Indian Wells because of the way in which they were treated.
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post #12 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 01:38 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I just love these So-called militant journalists talking about what political stand some other person should be taking. Look, take your own political stands and don't be appointing the WS as responsible for correcting social injustice everywhere. It was the WTA's job to pull the plug on the tourney when one of its members was screwed - not 2 individuals (who no doubt are already getting some flack from their sponsors for refusing to play IW).
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post #13 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 01:41 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

I don't think any player should have pulled out of Dubai or thought any the less of if they didn't -unless it was something they themselves wanted to do. A number of players gave their support to Peer. But the situation was being addressed by the WTA which is where the action needed to be taken and they have addressed it promptly. And remember Shahar herself said the tournament should go ahead and didn't want players pulling out for her.

Indian Wells is a completely different situation and the Williams have made a personal choice not to ever play there again. They have not been refused entry. And there's no reason at all why any other player should want to get mixed up in a personal dispute.

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post #14 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

This is so ridiculous
Why should the WS be expected to boycott when no one else is?
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post #15 of 106 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2009, 02:03 AM
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Re: Williams sisters should've taken a stand

The attack on the sisters was personal, the treatment of Shahaar peer was not personal it was a political stand of two countries who have no diplomatic ties with each other, shahaar was the victim.
The sisters boycott IW for personal reasons- their decision.
If the best the CEO of the WTA could come up with was a statement, why does anyone expect more from the sisters. Larry could have stopped the tourny, he is after all the boss!

Rena- a tennis great! 22 at striking distance.
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