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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Are you a coward?

Remember in the 2001 US Open semifinal match between Venus & Capriati, 98% of that crowd was for Jennifer. Cappy had won 2 slams to Venus' 1. It was build as the match for player of the year - assuming the winner would go on to win the title the following night. I had never been so excited about a tennis match in all my life. It was like an NFL playoff game. As I watched the 1st set, I remember this one point where one of Venus' balls caught the back of the line but the crowd thought it was out. It was at that point where I thought - "oh o Venus has no support today" - Some booed, others screamed out while the rest were outraged the linesman hadn't called out. It was at that point where I also thought, I've got to start going to some big tennis tournaments so I can give my girls some support. I had no interest in calling anyone racist - waste of my energy. I actually got motivated & called a few fellas about doing our own version of Blake's cheering quad but for the sistahs. (But the bruthas just couldn't come up with the money )

When Attorney General Holder called Americans cowards, my mind thought about a number of things, including tennis...I have always admitted that I cheer for all black people in tennis because it is a sport we haven't excelled in as much. I love Venus, Serena, Monfils, Tsonga, James, Donald, Scofield, Asha, Angela, etc. I always want them to win - no questions ask. Now I also like Ivanovic (cuz she phine ) and Federer and cheer for them loudly & clearly but not if they're playing a black player. Some would call me racist - maybe you will. But all I'm doing is what I saw at that US Open. I didn't call those men & women racist. I, maybe naievely, thought they just wanted someone that looked like them to win.

When me & 3 of my boys finally had a chance to go to the 2004 YEC, we hooped & hollered for Serena liked nobody's business as if we were at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. So much so, that an older black couple sitting in front of us told us that we were embarrassing them. To which I responded - you must not have seen how Venus was treated at the 2001 semifinal in New York. She turned around & said nothing else to us the rest of the night.

Remember this thread is birthed out of the speech by attorney general Holder for Americans to have open/honest and constructive communication on race. Obviously, tennis has been considered a white racist sport for a long time. So why do we really cheer for who we cheer for? YOUR THOUGHTS?
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

I think I used to do the same when I was younger but now I just support whoever I like, I mean I still have black favouites like Serena/Venus/Monfils and I do cheer for players like Washington, but Tsonga annoys the shit out of me and there's no way im supporting that arrogant mofo.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Venus has won 3 slams before the 01 USO.
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Black View Post
Remember in the 2001 US Open semifinal match between Venus & Capriati, 98% of that crowd was for Jennifer. Cappy had won 2 slams to Venus' 1. It was build as the match for player of the year - assuming the winner would go on to win the title the following night. I had never been so excited about a tennis match in all my life. It was like an NFL playoff game. As I watched the 1st set, I remember this one point where one of Venus' balls caught the back of the line but the crowd thought it was out. It was at that point where I thought - "oh o Venus has no support today" - Some booed, others screamed out while the rest were outraged the linesman hadn't called out. It was at that point where I also thought, I've got to start going to some big tennis tournaments so I can give my girls some support. I had no interest in calling anyone racist - waste of my energy. I actually got motivated & called a few fellas about doing our own version of Blake's cheering quad but for the sistahs. (But the bruthas just couldn't come up with the money )

When Attorney General Holder called Americans cowards, my mind thought about a number of things, including tennis...I have always admitted that I cheer for all black people in tennis because it is a sport we haven't excelled in as much. I love Venus, Serena, Monfils, Tsonga, James, Donald, Scofield, Asha, Angela, etc. I always want them to win - no questions ask. Now I also like Ivanovic (cuz she phine ) and Federer and cheer for them loudly & clearly but not if they're playing a black player. Some would call me racist - maybe you will. But all I'm doing is what I saw at that US Open. I didn't call those men & women racist. I, maybe naievely, thought they just wanted someone that looked like them to win.

When me & 3 of my boys finally had a chance to go to the 2004 YEC, we hooped & hollered for Serena liked nobody's business as if we were at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. So much so, that an older black couple sitting in front of us told us that we were embarrassing them. To which I responded - you must not have seen how Venus was treated at the 2001 semifinal in New York. She turned around & said nothing else to us the rest of the night.

Remember this thread is birthed out of the speech by attorney general Holder for Americans to have open/honest and constructive communication on race. Obviously, tennis has been considered a white racist sport for a long time. So why do we really cheer for who we cheer for? YOUR THOUGHTS?
I'm not really sure the match between Jen and Venus had any racial issues in it. I remember when Justine and Jen played for the 2003 USO finals. They were behaving much like you described. I think that had a lot to do with how Justine lost that first set, but obviously fought and rallied to win the match much to the dismay of the spectators. I think the USO crowd just really loves Jen much more than any other American female player in recent memory.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are you a coward?

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Originally Posted by LindsayRulz View Post
Venus has won 3 slams before the 01 USO.
What I meant was Jen had won the 01 Aussie & French & Venus had won the '01 Wimbledon - so 2 slams to 1 for 2001
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:51 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

I suspect that one of the reasons I like Dementieva is that I find her extremely attractive, and the fact that I find a tall, blond woman attractive probably has something to do with being white, and growing up in a white-dominated society and being old enough that tall, blonde and white was pushed as a beauty ideal even harder than it is today. On the other hand, it isn't just that, as there are certainly other (one in particular) tall, blonde white players I could be fans of if that was my sole criteria. I like her game, her personality, her brains, there's a kind of anti-divaness about Elena that was especially refreshing when she came along in 99-00.

I agree that a lot of us wold rather not talk about issues of race. A lot of whites would like to pretend the problem is solved when it isn't. There are times when I feel like perceived prejudice or racism by various groups is actually the result of ignorance or laziness (we had a looong discussion about some ads in this regard, not sure where that thread went). It's a very difficult issue to deal with, especially for those of us who grew with feet in both worlds--we remember and experienced some of the worst of the bad old days, but we have the dream of how it should be. Those two can be very hard to reconcile. I believe Volcana had a very good post on this at one point.

Sometimes, I think whites need to stop and count to 10 before they say "race card." And blacks (and other minorities) should count to 10 before they say "racist." Those are both very poisonous terms and polarize discussions before they can even begin. Just look at some of the discussions around here and see how quickly what could be chances to learn and educate each other about why we feel the way we do quickly devolve into "Well you hate blacks/whites." "Oh yeah? Well you hate whites/blacks" kindergarten tantrums.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting, informative discussions I've had on a number of topics and experiences have been with members of this board who come from different backgrounds than I do. So I know it can be done.

It's also interesting to see how much less of an issue it is for my kids, both of whom go to inner city schools that are majority minority. I notice that. They really don't.

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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are you a coward?

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Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
I suspect that one of the reasons I like Dementieva is that I find her extremely attractive, and the fact that I find a tall, blond woman attractive probably has something to do with being white, and growing up in a white-dominated society and being old enough that tall, blonde and white was pushed as a beauty ideal even harder than it is today. On the other hand, it isn't just that, as there are certainly other (one in particular) tall, blonde white players I could be fans of if that was my sole criteria. I like her game, her personality, her brains, there's a kind of anti-divaness about Elena that was especially refreshing when she came along in 99-00.

I agree that a lot of us wold rather not talk about issues of race. A lot of whites would like to pretend the problem is solved when it isn't. There are times when I feel like perceived prejudice or racism by various groups is actually the result of ignorance or laziness (we had a looong discussion about some ads in this regard, not sure where that thread went). It's a very difficult issue to deal with, especially for those of us who grew with feet in both worlds--we remember and experienced some of the worst of the bad old days, but we have the dream of how it should be. Those two can be very hard to reconcile. I believe Volcana had a very good post on this at one point.

Sometimes, I think whites need to stop and count to 10 before they say "race card." And blacks (and other minorities) should count to 10 before they say "racist." Those are both very poisonous terms and polarize discussions before they can even begin. Just look at some of the discussions around here and see how quickly what could be chances to learn and educate each other about why we feel the way we do quickly devolve into "Well you hate blacks/whites." "Oh yeah? Well you hate whites/blacks" kindergarten tantrums.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting, informative discussions I've had on a number of topics and experiences have been with members of this board who come from different backgrounds than I do. So I know it can be done.

It's also interesting to see how much less of an issue it is for my kids, both of whom go to inner city schools that are majority minority. I notice that. They really don't.
GReat Post This is what I'm talking about ... I'm hoping more people on this board will write posts like this on this topic. So much to be learned...
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:02 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Interesting thread topic. But for me I have talked about race with my friends when it has come up in conversation in the past, but it gets so old after a while. I live in Atlanta, where every week there is another story about race in the news media, black vs. white and it has gotten incredibly stale and old. I also see the whole race thing becoming less and less of an issue and I can see that in the younger generations. It just seems like the younger generations (30 and under) don't have the same hangups as older Americans when it comes to race-its a nonissue (thank God).
With respect to tennis I first started really paying attention to tennis in the early 90's and was a huge fan of Courier, Agassi, Chang and Mal Washington. But it wasn't until Venus came along before I started to follow the sport like a religion. And right now on the womens side Venus and Serena are the main reasons why I pay attention to womens tennis. I will always root for Serena, no matter who she plays (Dubai aside, Venus really needed that win after that mess she brought at the AO) On the mens side I do enjoy Tsongas, Monfils, Young, and Jenkins, but I can't stand to watch James Blake play. But I also love watching Federer, Kiefer, Haas, Verdasco, Djokovic, Kohlschreiber, Schuettler, Gasquet and to a lesser extent Roddick. And my love and enjoyment of these players has nothing to do with race: its simply because I enjoy their game and personalities.

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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

I've cheered loud for Connors, Evert, Seles and the Williams Sisters.

Why? Because they all represent players who loved to kick ass - those of you who are too young to know better should know Evert the Ice Maiden used to kick everyone's ass without cracking a smile until the matches were over. Navrat didn't start hitting the weights for fun, check their early head to head

I don't cheer for skin color - I'd support Connors over Ashe and Seles over Zina; BUT of course I'm happy when Black Tennis Players do well since I know first hand* that there are lots of bigots out there who honestly believe that Blacks are inferior tennis players because they aren't as smart as white people. And I can't be everywhere to clearly disprove such nonsense.

I'm a suburban Black male who has always had and probably always will have more white friends than black friends but my family comes from an American Black Nationalist tradition the creed in summary (in the face of racism): "we are Americans too and you'll beg us to claim equality once we've shown that we're better than you."

I don't doubt, especially early on that many White Tennis Fans wanted the Williams' family to fail - some because they are Black - some because Richard Williams didn't follow the traditional path or because he talks too much and some simply liked someone else.

I think now the majority have learned to respect the Sisters achievements just like the majority had to learn to respect Navrat's achievements - I don't know that it is "the love" that all athletes want; but money and respect are enough for now.

*from playing tennis since the early 1970s and a small child.
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
I suspect that one of the reasons I like Dementieva is that I find her extremely attractive, and the fact that I find a tall, blond woman attractive probably has something to do with being white, and growing up in a white-dominated society and being old enough that tall, blonde and white was pushed as a beauty ideal even harder than it is today. On the other hand, it isn't just that, as there are certainly other (one in particular) tall, blonde white players I could be fans of if that was my sole criteria. I like her game, her personality, her brains, there's a kind of anti-divaness about Elena that was especially refreshing when she came along in 99-00.

I agree that a lot of us wold rather not talk about issues of race. A lot of whites would like to pretend the problem is solved when it isn't. There are times when I feel like perceived prejudice or racism by various groups is actually the result of ignorance or laziness (we had a looong discussion about some ads in this regard, not sure where that thread went). It's a very difficult issue to deal with, especially for those of us who grew with feet in both worlds--we remember and experienced some of the worst of the bad old days, but we have the dream of how it should be. Those two can be very hard to reconcile. I believe Volcana had a very good post on this at one point.

Sometimes, I think whites need to stop and count to 10 before they say "race card." And blacks (and other minorities) should count to 10 before they say "racist." Those are both very poisonous terms and polarize discussions before they can even begin. Just look at some of the discussions around here and see how quickly what could be chances to learn and educate each other about why we feel the way we do quickly devolve into "Well you hate blacks/whites." "Oh yeah? Well you hate whites/blacks" kindergarten tantrums.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting, informative discussions I've had on a number of topics and experiences have been with members of this board who come from different backgrounds than I do. So I know it can be done.

It's also interesting to see how much less of an issue it is for my kids, both of whom go to inner city schools that are majority minority. I notice that. They really don't.

Thankfully, the young people of today have really made progress and don't have many of the same hangups as their parents: racism, ageism, sexism, etc..I really think the election of President Obama has pushed us even more so down the road in terms of really judging a person on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, or their sex, or age or sexual preference.

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post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:14 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shap_half View Post
I'm not really sure the match between Jen and Venus had any racial issues in it. I remember when Justine and Jen played for the 2003 USO finals. They were behaving much like you described. I think that had a lot to do with how Justine lost that first set, but obviously fought and rallied to win the match much to the dismay of the spectators. I think the USO crowd just really loves Jen much more than any other American female player in recent memory.
Jen has always been a favorite at The US Open, she was the crowd's darling in 1991 when Monica won, also when she played Diemienteva and Justine, The Us crowd has always LOVED Jen.
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post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

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Jen has always been a favorite at The US Open, she was the crowd's darling in 1991 when Monica won, also when she played Diemienteva and Justine, The Us crowd has always LOVED Jen.
Right, which is why I believe there probably wasn't any racial motivations behind the crowd's sometimes incredibly rowdy behavior in support of Jen.
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post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Just because they are not cheering for Venus or Serena does not mean the crowd is racist.
Wow.

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post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:21 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

Oh Tutu
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post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Re: Are you a coward?

who are u? A clone of Morissey? Another thread on race...
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