OK - thank you both
incorporating those ideas - I shall post again - flick my way through and sort it out...
CH - to practis
e - the verb
e - the noun
Dear Mr. Evans,
I was disappointed by your recent article concerning the events surrounding the Fed Cup. Your colleague, Mr. Barnes, suggests that the role of a good journalist is to impart an objective presentation of all the facts, thereby permitting the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. If that is the goal of superior reporting, I find it perplexing then that not one counter-point offered by the Capriati camp was even fleetingly alluded to in your piece.
"The fact is that Capriati and her father have brought the sport into disrepute" She has made an error of judgement, but to bring the game into disrepute is a huge statement. Consider how preposterous it is when the Fed Cup does not even warrant a single column inch in newspapers and no airtime on TV. Had she behaved the way she did at a Grand Slam, in front of the watching world, then she may have brought the game into disrepute. What I don't doubt is that she has let some people down...but the game didn't even blink.
Worse examples of players “bringing the game into disrepute” went largely unnoticed, especially once again, by the British press. The racist comments made by Lleyton Hewitt against James Blake could have been far more damaging to tennis than a player wanting to improve their game, yet there was not a near A3 page dedicated to Mr. Hewitt’s achievements.
I am aware that sports writers are going to be biased in favour of Billy Jean King due to the fact that she is a regular source of articles. A sportswriter probably doesn't stand a chance of interviewing Jennifer other than after a match in the mandatory WTA interviews. Jennifer has had difficulties with the press before, so she is not going to be rushing to speak with them and constantly give her view. There is no reward for reporters to reveal Capriati’s side of the story because they will receive no further help from Jennifer herself. Bud Collins weighed in with some of his own commentary. He called it a double fault, and criticised Jennifer for being a diva, then said she should apologise to Billy Jean King because she is essentially a BIGGER diva. That doesn’t even begin to make sense.
"3. Don’t use profane and abusive language in public. " You are willing to with hold judgement from John McEnroe about his language -McEnroe, a Rage for Perfection - yet you are jumping to criticise another player for actions less extreme.
There was a time that Billie was anathema to the USTA but that one has somehow changed over time. I doubt that Ms. King would have agreed to the rules if she were a player, she probably would have been cheered for standing up against the USTA. But, here she is today enforcing a petty rule that was not cleared with the players before they had arrived. IF the rule had been cleared before the players had to agree, then maybe Ms. King would have a stronger case.
The timing of the expulsion from the team has a lot to be desired. It is well known that the problems had been occurring all week, why did Billy Jean King get rid of Capriati sooner? Why not before the draw, so that the first game would not have to be defaulted? King was going for “martyr” tag of standing up for her morals and still winning. This backfires on herself because Americans are concerned about winning, especially concerning a USA team. Fans don't generally care about how Jennifer behaved, and they certainly don't agree with booting Jennifer off the team for extra practice because of morals. Billy Jean King’s job is to select a team from the best players the WTA has to offer and managed to lose the title because she tried to pretend tennis is team sport.
The fans, those that were the losers during these event, some of whom paid USD $200 per ticket seemed to think that tennis, like all professional sports leagues, exists for no other reason than pure entertainment. They had the audacity to be upset because they had to sit through a meaningless exhibition match in 90 degree weather instead of watching the #2 player in the world complete what should have been a 2-0 sweep in Fed Cup play for the home team. The bottomline is, Ms. King broke her “contract” to the fans – her promise to bring the best team to the court she could - and that is the real outrage here.
Finally, the sad part about this witch-hunt is that some people show how short their memories are. The press ruined this girl, the British press in particular, evident in the fact that Wimbledon was the last slam she returned to after her time out. And now, just when she's started to turn things around and get herself back to a good place, they decided to jump on a bandwagon and crucify her. She's not perfect but who is? No one is saying she behaved responsibly or correctly, but don't cite her as being the only one. Perhaps she brought the game into disrepute when she got arrested those times, but this really didn't raise an eyebrow outside of the US. She's behaved impeccably for a while now and it seems some people got bored with it. She's the bad girl of the tour, the rebel, and this is just another excuse for people to parade her as such. Drop the reputation notion and report on the truth.
I hope, Mr. Evans, I truly hope that Jennifer does not read the British press while playing in Wimbledon. I hope she never, ever reads the title “Return of the bad girl” because after everything that she has achieved, after all her problems especially with self esteem and the lack of confidence, that some article with that title can dismiss her life experiences with one patronising phrase.
Shame on you.