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Marcell
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:19 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2243249,00.html

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:23 AM
Articulate, well-written, and insightful. She clearly did some research on the subject for this article. GO VENUS!!

crazyroberto6767
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:25 AM
Wow I'm very impressed. Great letter Vee :yeah:. Also nice to see her give props to the people (especially BJK) who fought for equal rights in tennis before her.

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:25 AM
Great read. Nice job, Vee. :yeah:

Bitter Blue Bong
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:38 AM
Well written and she made very valid points. Go Venus!

AjdeNate!
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:42 AM
And, for the record, the ladiesí final at Wimbledon in 2005 lasted 45 minutes longer than the menís. No extra charge.
:hearts: Best. Comment. Ever.

GracefulVenus
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:45 AM
Hard to refute anything in this argument. Great letter Venus! Let's hope Wimbledon hear you and the people of England!

akosijepoy
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:45 AM
very well written and straight from the heart

Barrie_Dude
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:47 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2243249,00.htmlI am so glad that there is someone out there still inspired by Billie Jeans vision! And as Billie Jean was and continues to be dead right on this subject, so is Venus!

oakkao
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:00 AM
Link doesn't work for me. Could someone pleasse ost the article! :D Thanks in advance :bowdown:

crazyroberto6767
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:02 AM
Link doesn't work for me. Could someone pleasse ost the article! :D Thanks in advance :bowdown:
Wimbledon has sent me a message: I'm only a second-class champion
Venus Williams

The time has come for it to do the right thing: pay men and women equal prize money
HAVE YOU ever been let down by someone that you had long admired, respected and looked up to? Little in life is more disappointing, particularly when that person does something that goes against the very heart of what you believe is right and fair.

When I was a little girl, and Serena and I played matches together, we often pretended that we were in the final of a famous tournament. More often than not we imagined we were playing on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Those two young sisters from Compton, California, were ďWimbledon championsĒ many times, years before our dreams of playing there became reality.

There is nothing like playing at Wimbledon; you can feel the footprints of the legends of the game ó men and women ó that have graced those courts. There isnít a player who doesnít dream of holding aloft the Wimbledon trophy. I have been fortunate to do so three times, including last year. That win was the highlight of my career to date, the culmination of so many years of work and determination, and at a time when most people didnít consider me to be a contender.

So the decision of the All England Lawn Tennis Club yet again to treat women as lesser players than men ó undeserving of the same amount of prize money ó has a particular sting.

Iím disappointed not for myself but for all of my fellow women players who have struggled so hard to get here and who, just like the men, give their all on the courts of SW19. Iím disappointed for the great legends of the game, such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, who have never stopped fighting for equality. And disappointed that the home of tennis is sending a message to women across the world that we are inferior.

With power and status comes responsibility. Well, Wimbledon has power and status. The time has come for it to do the right thing by paying men and women the same sums of prize money. The total prize pot for the menís events is £5,197,440; for the women it is £4,446,490. The winner of the ladiesí singles receives £30,000 less than the menís winner; the runner-up £15,000 less, and so on down to the first-round losers.

How can it be that Wimbledon finds itself on the wrong side of history? How can the words Wimbledon and inequality be allowed to coexist? Iíve spent my life overcoming challenges and those who said certain things couldnít be achieved for this or that reason. My parents taught me that dreams can come true if you put in the effort. Maybe thatís why I feel so strongly that Wimbledonís stance devalues the principle of meritocracy and diminishes the years of hard work that women on the tour have put into becoming professional tennis players.

I believe that athletes ó especially female athletes in the worldís leading sport for women ó should serve as role models. The message I like to convey to women and girls across the globe is that there is no glass ceiling. My fear is that Wimbledon is loudly and clearly sending the opposite message: 128 men and 128 women compete in the singles main draw at Wimbledon; the All England Club is saying that the accomplishments of the 128 women are worth less than those of the 128 men. It diminishes the stature and credibility of such a great event in the eyes of all women.

The funny thing is that Wimbledon treats men and women the same in so many other respects; winners receive the same trophy and honorary membership. And as you enter Centre Court, the two photographs of last yearís menís and womenís champions are hung side by side, proudly and equally.

So why does Wimbledon choose to place a lesser value on my championship trophy than that of the 2005 menís winner Roger Federer? The All England Club is familiar with my views on the subject; at Wimbledon last year, the day before the final, I presented my views to it and its French Open counterparts. Both clearly gave their response: they are firmly in the inequality for women camp.

Wimbledon has argued that womenís tennis is worth less for a variety of reasons; it says, for example, that because men play a best of five sets game they work harder for their prize money.

This argument just doesnít make sense; first of all, women players would be happy to play five sets matches in grand slam tournaments. Tim Phillips, the chairman of the All England Club, knows this and even acknowledged that women players are physically capable of this.

Secondly, tennis is unique in the world of professional sports. No other sport has men and women competing for a grand slam championship on the same stage, at the same time. So in the eyes of the general public the menís and womenís games have the same value.

Third, athletes are also entertainers; we enjoy huge and equal celebrity and are paid for the value we deliver to broadcasters and spectators, not the amount of time we spend on the stage. And, for the record, the ladiesí final at Wimbledon in 2005 lasted 45 minutes longer than the menís. No extra charge.

Letís not forget that the US Open, for 33 years, and the Australian Open already award equal prize money. No male player has complained ó why would they?

Wimbledon has justified treating women as second class because we do more for the tournament. The argument goes that the top women ó who are more likely also to play doubles matches than their male peers ó earn more than the top men if you count singles, doubles and mixed doubles prize money. So the more we support the tournament, the more unequally we should be treated! But doubles and mixed doubles are separate events from the singles competition. Is Wimbledon suggesting that, if the top women withdrew from the doubles events, that then we would deserve equal prize money in singles? And how then does the All England Club explain why the pot of womenís doubles prize money is nearly £130,000 smaller than the menís doubles prize money?

Equality is too important a principle to give up on for the sake of less than 2 per cent of the profit that the All England Club will make at this yearís tournament. Profit that men and women will contribute to equally through sold-out sessions, TV ratings or attraction to sponsors. Of course, one can never distinguish the exact value brought by each sex in a combined menís and womenís championship, so any attempt to place a lesser value on the womenís contribution is an exercise in pure subjectivity.

Letís put it another way, the difference between men and womenís prize money in 2005 was £456,000 ó less than was spent on ice cream and strawberries in the first week. So the refusal of the All England Club, which declared a profit of £25 million from last yearís tournament, to pay equal prize money canít be about cash. It can only be trying to make a social and political point, one that is out of step with modern society.

I intend to keep doing everything I can until Billie Jeanís original dream of equality is made real. Itís a shame that the name of the greatest tournament in tennis, an event that should be a positive symbol for the sport, is tarnished.

oakkao
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:07 AM
Thanks b*tch :hug: :p



*Sorry, I just finished watching the Smiple Life (w/ Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie) :help:

Stamp Paid
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:08 AM
:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::worship::worship:

Venus!

oakkao
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:13 AM
Venus :bowdown: :woohoo:

Volcana
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:19 AM
Miss Venus Williams][/b]And, for the record, the ladiesí final at Wimbledon in 2005 lasted 45 minutes longer than the menís. No extra charge.
:hearts: Best. Comment. Ever.
DAMN straight.

RainyDays
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:20 AM
:worship: :worship: :worship:

'Atta girl!!

Reuchlin
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:21 AM
That was some very good ghost writing by someone :lol:
*joking

But really, Venus makes some very strong points, that, in all honesty she shouldn't even HAVE to make. Men and Women getting equal pay for doing the same job should not require "letters" from the sport's greats.

Kenny
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:26 AM
Great article Venus.. I love it.

dreamgoddess099
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:55 AM
Wow, great letter. I hope the other players will write letters too.

vwfan
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:56 AM
I am so glad that she is putting herself out there and leading on this issue. I have a whole new level of respect for her. :worship:

Now win the title, Vee!

morningglory
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:02 AM
Venus is truly a rare gem indeed. :hug:

gentenaire
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:15 AM
"It can only be trying to make a social and political point, one that is out of step with modern society."

She's spot on!

It's not because the women play to best of three that they work less hard. They have to practise just as much as the men. And it's unfair to use the three vs five set argument considering the women have no choice. Also, there are tournaments where the men play to best of three and still make more money than the women.

MrSerenaWilliams
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:18 AM
:worship: WOW VENUS :worship:

She's definately turning into the female counterpart of Andre Agassi. Classy, well spoken, successful, and philanthropic. What an amazing champion she and her sister have morphed into. It's hard not to have the utmost respect for her. She's come a long way from the brash teenager she was who burst onto the tennis scene in 1997. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE and VENUS, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, YOU ARE AMAZING AND AN INSPIRATION TO PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

MH0861
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:22 AM
"It can only be trying to make a social and political point, one that is out of step with modern society."

She's spot on!

It's not because the women play to best of three that they work less hard. They have to practise just as much as the men. And it's unfair to use the three vs five set argument considering the women have no choice. Also, there are tournaments where the men play to best of three and still make more money than the women.

Was just about to quote that bit. Go Venus! :worship:

stevos
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:43 AM
Wow Venus, very smart yet personable article, I Love you!

Drake1980
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:46 AM
wow, well written

LoveFifteen
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:48 AM
:hearts: Best. Comment. Ever.

I agree!!! I read that line and all I could say was, "DAAAYMMNN!!!! Venus is telling it like it is!!!!" Lindsay and Venus put on one of the best shows EVER last year, and the old men at Wimbledon should be ashamed for giving women slightly less prize money just to thumb their nose at the rest of the world.

Huge props to Venus for an incredible article. :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts:

Siyasema
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:51 AM
:clap2: A very well written letter.

LoveFifteen
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:55 AM
Wow, great letter. I hope the other players will write letters too.

Yes, I hope other players will write letters, too. That would be an excellent idea, and I hope others follow suit. Venus has done an amazing job with this article, and I greatly respect her for it.

Cat's Pajamas
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:56 AM
She is just such a brilliant woman :hearts:

Richie77
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:58 AM
Great letter, and no one can argue with the facts.

Well done Venus :yeah:

azinna
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:01 AM
Excellently written and argued. Heart-touching to boot: I can read the first 5 paragraphs all day.

kyk710
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:06 AM
Wow Venus :worship: . You can tell from reading that letter that she put her heart into it and that she really believes in every word she wrote. A very powerful and persuasive letter indeed.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:07 AM
It's a powerful letter if you ignore the fact that she ignored everything else that goes on the circuits. There are a lot of big tournis on both tour and yet the women get paid a lot less and none of the women have talked about that. The reason why they haven't is because they themselves cannot get the sponserships to get the same amount of prize money as the boys at tournis such as Rome and Toronto. They're just latching on because they know they can. I'll start believing this cry for equal pay when these same women request them at all the tournis where there should be equal pay.

venus_rulez
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:31 AM
It's a powerful letter if you ignore the fact that she ignored everything else that goes on the circuits. There are a lot of big tournis on both tour and yet the women get paid a lot less and none of the women have talked about that. The reason why they haven't is because they themselves cannot get the sponserships to get the same amount of prize money as the boys at tournis such as Rome and Toronto. They're just latching on because they know they can. I'll start believing this cry for equal pay when these same women request them at all the tournis where there should be equal pay.


Even you can't be silly enough to not see the difference between Toronto/Rome and Wimbledon. Toronto and Rome are staged at different times for the men and women, so technically are two different events on two different tours. WImbledon is one event that schedules both male and female tennis players. I'm sure if Wimbledon did give women equal prize money you'd be in the thread saying they only did it because they used the "men's prize money formula"

CrossCourt~Rally
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:42 AM
NICELY SAID VENUS! :bounce:

Haute
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:49 AM
I love that she throws out the comment that tennis players are entertainers as well, because the women's final last year was by far more entertaining than the men's final.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:50 AM
Even you can't be silly enough to not see the difference between Toronto/Rome and Wimbledon. Toronto and Rome are staged at different times for the men and women, so technically are two different events on two different tours. WImbledon is one event that schedules both male and female tennis players. I'm sure if Wimbledon did give women equal prize money you'd be in the thread saying they only did it because they used the "men's prize money formula"
The prize money for 2006 at Indian Wells for the men was 3,169,600. The prize money for 2006 at Indian Wells for the women was 2,100,000.
As I was saying I'll start believing this cry for equal pay when these same women request them at all the tournis where there should be equal pay. None of them have. Billie Jean King hasn't said anything about it. Martina hasn't said anything about it. Chris Evert hasn't said anything about it and she's worked in the background of Indian Wells for years. It wasn't in Venus' letter. Matthew Cronin had to bring it up and it's still being ignored.
Until then what they're doing really has no value behind it and even Wimbledon can see that. Pressuring Wimbledon just because they're the biggest tourni in the world in tennis just isn't going to work unless there is some consistency with the argument.

Kenny
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:57 AM
But, Wannabeknowitall, the first step is having ALL of the slams to do it. Then it will trickle to all of the Tier Is, IIs, and IIIs.

It's incredibly important for the world's greatest stages in tennis to have equal before all of the others, imho.

dinhd82
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:05 AM
Don't they have to start somewhere wannabeknowitall? Why not on the grandest stage and set a standard so that other little tourneys can follow? The fact that the 3 other Grand Slams have equal prize money should tell you something right? Are you a woman hater as well?

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:25 AM
Don't they have to start somewhere wannabeknowitall? Why not on the grandest stage and set a standard so that other little tourneys can follow? The fact that the 3 other Grand Slams have equal prize money should tell you something right? Are you a woman hater as well?
Actually the prize money isn't equal from round to round at the French.
Uh huh. So they start from the highest point? Was that what Billie Jean King has done for the last fourty years?
Billie Jean King did say she knew things wouldn't change unless she was the number one player in the world. Hint Hint Venus. Hint Hint Amelie.
Wimbledon was one of the first slams that went professional and actually has been in the forefront of many changes.
Everything else has been done from the bottom up. Billie Jean King, Nancy Richie, Rosey Casal made their own tour to get power to get more prize money. She then worked on constructing that union, the WTA. It worked. She probably went too big and pressured the US Open to give equal prize money and in 1973 that happened. She went too big too fast, IMO. It's the only way that can explain why the women who play Indian Wells get paid 67 cents to every dollar the men make.
Thirty-three years after the US Open gave equal prize money, Wimbledon still hasn't budged on their stance.
Would you budge if you see that kind of discrepancy all around you?

spudrsca
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Simple question.
In the first rounds, why are the people buying tickets.?what matches are the most interesting for tv?
I think the answer is simple, it's the men's tennis.

volta
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:26 AM
school'em Vee :worship: :worship:

Chance
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:35 AM
love it:worship: V is a great role model- makes me wish I was 10;)

vettipooh
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Great uninhibited letter!! Grabs your attention from the start, as Vee writes from the heart!! :worship: :hearts: Hope this issue is now taken seriously and positive results evolve. It's about time! As one of the oldest and more respectable tournys, maybe they can pave the way for equal pay at all tournys.

dreamgoddess099
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Simple question.
In the first rounds, why are the people buying tickets.?what matches are the most interesting for tv?
I think the answer is simple, it's the men's tennis.
I think it depends on where you're from, because in America that is sooo not the case. The Women's matches get more TV viewers here.

Paneru
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Superurlative writing!
Go Venus! :worship:

Venus' letter mentions some things
I hadn't known or even though about.

BJK & Navratilova I think
would be proud of this letter.

TheAllan
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Eloquent letter from Venus. Although I agree with many of the points made by Wannebeknowitall.

She is not making too much of an impact on the Times' readership, though. From the comments posted:

"If you separated Wimbledon into a men's championship and a women's set a couple of months apart then Venus Williams' cheque would be half of what it was the last time. Venus Williams believes that she is perceived as a second-class champion. Her belief is correct because that is exactly what she is. Without men's tennis there would be no tennis and all the female players, for all their whining, know this full well."

- Derek Sinclair, Dundee, UK

Paneru
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Eloquent letter from Venus. Although I agree with many of the points made by Wannebeknowitall.

She is not making too much of an impact on the Times' readership, though. From the comments posted:

"If you separated Wimbledon into a men's championship and a women's set a couple of months apart then Venus Williams' cheque would be half of what it was the last time. Venus Williams believes that she is perceived as a second-class champion. Her belief is correct because that is exactly what she is. Without men's tennis there would be no tennis and all the female players, for all their whining, know this full well."

- Derek Sinclair, Dundee, UK

He's full of it and does not speak
for the entire readership!

A misoginist idiot!


I guess this is why their was the discussion and yammering
about why the men weren't getting the press and off-court
coverage and exposure bringing in more layman fans as
oppossed to the men.

tenn_ace
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:32 AM
wonderfully written, although I do disagree on this issue with Venus. I think she's kidding herself when she says that women are ready to play 5 set matches... With all the injuries the top players recently endure we expect to believe that that'll work? Also, rarely we now see high level tennis when women play. It's more ue after ue after ue. Now let's add fatigue and imagine what tennis we'd see in the 5th set if it's played.

Paneru
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:37 AM
wonderfully written, although I do disagree on this issue with Venus. I think she's kidding herself when she says that women are ready to play 5 set matches... Who is she kidding? With all the injuries the top players recently endure we expect to believe that that'll work? Also, rarely we now see high level tennis when women play. It's more ue after ue after ue. Now let's add fatigue and imagine what tennis we'd see in the 5th set if it's played.

What, so it's perfectly fine to make the
assumption based on this?

If you and others are so pro
"5 sets" for men getting paid more,
then what issue do you have with giving
them the actual chance to show it one
way or the other?

If given the chance, you'd definitively
see by how many would be rooting against
them and scrutinizing every match as to wheather
it really is just about the "best of 5" or more as I suspect.


IIRC, women couldn't run the marathon either! :angel:

tenn_ace
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:46 AM
I have nothing against that. Let them play 5 set matches. I hope Slams will do it soon. We'll see after that.



The argument would be more compelling if Venus campaigned for 5 set matches first (to be equal to men) and pay - second.

TheAllan
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:48 AM
Now let's add fatigue and imagine what tennis we'd see in the 5th set if it's played.
True, the five-set formula is not the way. Also imagine the number of lopsided matches in the first week where the loser will have no chance of a comeback and the third set is merely prolonged humiliation. The serve is not an equalling factor to the same extent as in the men's game.

Paneru
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:49 AM
I have nothing against that. Let them play 5 set matches. I hope Slams will do it soon. We'll see after that.



The argument would be more compelling if Venus campaigned for 5 set matches first (to be equal to men) and pay - second.

:yeah:

Paneru
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:51 AM
True, the five-set formula is not the way. Also imagine the number of lopsided matches in the first week where the loser will have no chance of a comeback and the third set is merely prolonged humiliation. The serve is not an equalling factor to the same extent as in the men's game.

Well, judging by the biggest argument point of the
detractors, it's all that will appease them.

And again, "fatigue" and so on was used for
decades to keep the women out of
Olympic Marathon Competition.

Who says the women can't
and wouldn't adapt?

shirgan
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:52 AM
wow
amazing writing :worship:
bravo :yeah:

tenn_ace
Jun 26th, 2006, 12:01 PM
:yeah:


I'll be the first one to come out and say give women equal pay if women play 5 sets. (Not that anybody would listen ;) )

Infiniti2001
Jun 26th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Excellent letter from Miss Vee :yeah: She touches all bases and is so eloquent :bigclap: There simply is no reasonable argument to be made for paying the women less anymore --- It's just bloody sexism :rolleyes:

Cariaoke
Jun 26th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Venus is the queen for a reason. :worship: :drool:

Pureracket
Jun 26th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Wannabe & tennace,
You're making valid points, but you're arguing off of the question. Neither of you really counterargued anything Venus said. Tennace, your 5 set argument is based on negative assumption. The Womens Final last year should let you know that you're wrong.

Excellent letter from Venus!!!!!

*Pureracket pos reps Venus*

vwfan
Jun 26th, 2006, 01:40 PM
At Wimbledon, there is no more appropriate or credible advocate for the cause of equal pay than Venus Williams. Given her incredible history at the tournament and her reputation for being principled, Wimbledon will certainly take note.

And even all those who disagree with equal pay have to agree that she stuck her neck out for something she believed in. She's more than a champion tennis player, she's a leader!

hablo
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:07 PM
But, Wannabeknowitall, the first step is having ALL of the slams to do it. Then it will trickle to all of the Tier Is, IIs, and IIIs.

It's incredibly important for the world's greatest stages in tennis to have equal before all of the others, imho.
exactly, well said.

Venus :bowdown:

~Cherry*Blossom~
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Brilliant letter Venus. :hearts:

Shame that the comments below were mostly retarded!!!

MH0861
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Eloquent letter from Venus. Although I agree with many of the points made by Wannebeknowitall.

She is not making too much of an impact on the Times' readership, though. From the comments posted:

"If you separated Wimbledon into a men's championship and a women's set a couple of months apart then Venus Williams' cheque would be half of what it was the last time. Venus Williams believes that she is perceived as a second-class champion. Her belief is correct because that is exactly what she is. Without men's tennis there would be no tennis and all the female players, for all their whining, know this full well."

- Derek Sinclair, Dundee, UK

Without women, there would be no men's tennis players. And they know this full well. :lol:

About the Canada event: True, they alternate between Toronto and Montreal each year, but they are run by the same people and played at the same facilities. All men's and women's matches (including the final) are best of three sets. Why in God's name are they not paid equally, then?

tenn_ace
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Wannabe & tennace,
You're making valid points, but you're arguing off of the question. Neither of you really counterargued anything Venus said. Tennace, your 5 set argument is based on negative assumption. The Womens Final last year should let you know that you're wrong.

Excellent letter from Venus!!!!!

*Pureracket pos reps Venus*

I really do that happens soon... And I do hope that these days athletes are fitter than Steffi and Martina H. were a few years ago when they played 5-setter at YEC

CC
Jun 26th, 2006, 02:55 PM
If the women play 5 sets the quality of their matches would improve.

Knizzle
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:27 PM
WOW!! Venus really DID go to college!! :D ;)

Venus. :worship:

Infiniti2001
Jun 26th, 2006, 03:28 PM
WOW!! Venus really DID go to college!! :D ;)

Venus. :worship:

Hiding again?? :shrug:

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Wannabe & tennace,
You're making valid points, but you're arguing off of the question. Neither of you really counterargued anything Venus said. Tennace, your 5 set argument is based on negative assumption. The Womens Final last year should let you know that you're wrong.

Excellent letter from Venus!!!!!

*Pureracket pos reps Venus*
Ok and noone has really counterargued anything I said. Venus did a good job with her letter but my stance is likely one of the reason Wimbledon can do what it's doing. You can't just attack the biggest tourni in the world and expect a political change to happen. If I wanted gay marriage laws to be changed, then something has to happen on a state or local area on a massive scale before I can realistically expect anything else to happen on a federal level.
There are still just too many discrepancies with prize money on the women's tour to realistically expect anything to happen at Wimbledon.
In fact there is still a "shamateurism" going on on tour. Both tours players get paid appearance fees under the table and only one player has talked about bringing that in the open, Lindsay Davenport. The funny thing is the women usually get paid more appearance fees than the men. You would think that would be something that the women would want to make known.

Couver
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:11 PM
wonderfully written, although I do disagree on this issue with Venus. I think she's kidding herself when she says that women are ready to play 5 set matches... With all the injuries the top players recently endure we expect to believe that that'll work? Also, rarely we now see high level tennis when women play. It's more ue after ue after ue. Now let's add fatigue and imagine what tennis we'd see in the 5th set if it's played.

It's rare to see high quality when the men play. Most of the time it's either Federer or Nadal blowing someone off the court. The difference is most of the time men's finals have been more competitive than the women's but that's hardly a case to support the pay difference. Female tennis players put in just as much work as their male counterparts and should be rewarded just the same.

GoDominique
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:22 PM
This argument just doesnít make sense; first of all, women players would be happy to play five sets matches in grand slam tournaments.
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Apart from that, nicely written. I agree that Wimbledon should decide between paying equal money or paying the women 60% of the men's prize money (according to best of 3/best of 5 difference).

However, the fact remains that women's top players earn the same amount as men's top players because they reach the final rounds of tournaments more consistently (mainly due to lesser depth on the WTA). So they don't have too much reason to complain (not to mention that they earn way too much already anyway).
The huge difference becomes apparent for players ranked 50 and below, as they earn about 50% of what the similarly ranked men do.

This will only change if women's tennis becomes a hotter product overall, and Venus herself hasn't always done her best to achieve that, I'm afraid.

Venus isn't dumb. Wimbledon is the biggest stage, so her letter will get attention for sure. But there are bigger issues out there and I just can't picture Venus addressing these with the same force.

MisterQ
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:34 PM
That was intelligent and engaging writing! It's wonderful to see her step up and enter the debate this way.

terjw
Jun 26th, 2006, 06:29 PM
Venus isn't dumb. Wimbledon is the biggest stage, so her letter will get attention for sure. But there are bigger issues out there and I just can't picture Venus addressing these with the same force.

I agree.

I do however applaud Venus for writing the letter setting out what she believes - but it really won't change anything. The difference in money is pretty small so the argument is not about the money per se but the principle of equal pay. And the women just do too well out of playing at Wimbledon thank you to even contemplate doing anything more than express their views or write letters. Like it or not Wimbledon is bigger than the women players and will continue to distribute prize money the way it wants.

donna
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:01 PM
As good as the letter is,Venus and others forget that Wimbledon runs things its own way,and they close ranks when they are challenged.The Wimbledon committe is run like the British government,full of Lords and Sirs.
Personnally,until women play the same amount of sets as men,i'm afraid the case for equal pay is weak.
You can scream discrimination and human rights till your blue in the face,but i doubt if anything will change anytime soon.Wimbledon stands by it's traditions!!!

(P.S. I'M A FEMALE)

Infiniti2001
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:21 PM
(P.S. I'M A FEMALE)

Witha name like donna, I would hope so, although I prefer to write it with a capital D :p

LeRoy.
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Point very well made by Venus. Now lets hope for the best :yeah:

hingis-seles
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:33 PM
Wow. That was an excellent read. Props to Venus. Oh, and I loved the 'No extra charge' comment. Spot on. ;)

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Even you can't be silly enough to not see the difference between Toronto/Rome and Wimbledon. Toronto and Rome are staged at different times for the men and women, so technically are two different events on two different tours. WImbledon is one event that schedules both male and female tennis players. I'm sure if Wimbledon did give women equal prize money you'd be in the thread saying they only did it because they used the "men's prize money formula"
:lol:

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Ok and noone has really counterargued anything I said. Venus did a good job with her letter but my stance is likely one of the reason Wimbledon can do what it's doing. You can't just attack the biggest tourni in the world and expect a political change to happen. If I wanted gay marriage laws to be changed, then something has to happen on a state or local area on a massive scale before I can realistically expect anything else to happen on a federal level.

This is such an ass-backward argument. There is more exposure for a particular bill or law enacted at the federal level than there would be at the state level. Once a bill is enacted into federal law, the states determine whether it ratifies that law into state law. It doesn't happen the other way around.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:02 PM
Venus just showed what a champion is. Not only one who wins the tournment and collects the check, but one who stands up for what is right and leads the fight. Kudos Vee :yeah: and good luck in your defense. :D

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:04 PM
This is such an ass-backward argument. There is more exposure for a particular bill or law enacted at the federal level than there would be at the state level. Once a bill is enacted into federal law, the states determine whether it ratifies that law into state law. It doesn't happen the other way around.
I don't need the American government lesson. The word I used was realistically. We are talking on a realistic level correct? There is more exposure but it doesn't neccessarily mean that it's going to help that bill. In many cases it could hurt the bill.

MH0861
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:17 PM
Venus just showed what a champion is. Not only one who wins the tournment and collects the check, but one who stands up for what is right and leads the fight. Kudos Vee :yeah: and good luck in your defense. :D

Spot on. :worship:

fufuqifuqishahah
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:17 PM
Letís put it another way, the difference between men and womenís prize money in 2005 was £456,000 ó less than was spent on ice cream and strawberries in the first week. So the refusal of the All England Club, which declared a profit of £25 million from last yearís tournament, to pay equal prize money canít be about cash. It can only be trying to make a social and political point, one that is out of step with modern society.

Wow. Such an interesting point and so direct! She's definitely done her research and believes in this issue. =)

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:18 PM
I don't need the American government lesson. The word I used was realistically. We are talking on a realistic level correct? There is more exposure but it doesn't neccessarily mean that it's going to help that bill. In many cases it could hurt the bill.
Yeah, okay whatever. :rolleyes:

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Even the Conservative party leader David Cameron thinks there should be equal prize money, really I don't see how Wimbledon can keep this up for much longer - at most 2 years I'd think.
Wimbledon can keep it up as long as there are other tournis that pay women even less money than they do to the men. Wimbledon pays 91 cents to women for every dollar the men make. Indian Wells pays 67 cents to women for every dollar the men make. You have an American tournament paying women the same standard that was there in the 70s even before Title IX. Noone finds that the least bit insane? Even more insane than what Wimbledon is doing? I'm not against equal prize money but I would really like to see some consistency in the argument.

MH0861
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:26 PM
Wimbledon can keep it up as long as there are other tournis that pay women even less money than they do to the men. Wimbledon pays 91 cents to every dollar the men make. Indian Wells pays 67 cents to every dollar the men make. You have an American tournament paying women the same standard that was there in the 70s even before Title IX. Noone finds that the least bit insane? Even more insane than what Wimbledon is doing? I'm not against equal prize money but I would really like to see some consistency in the argument.

That's the point. They can, but should they?

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Wimbledon can keep it up as long as there are other tournis that pay women even less money than they do to the men. Wimbledon pays 91 cents to every dollar the men make. Indian Wells pays 67 cents to every dollar the men make. You have an American tournament paying women the same standard that was there in the 70s even before Title IX. Noone finds that the least bit insane? Even more insane than what Wimbledon is doing? I'm not against equal prize money but I would really like to see some consistency in the argument.
What I find insane is you thinking Wimbledon will follow the lead of lesser tournies when they won't even follow the lead of their slam equals. The route they are going is better in the line of thought that once Wimbledon sees the error of its ways, the other lesser tournies will follow suit, including RG. But, Wimbledon is the front runner, the leader of the pack in tennis. If you can get Wimbledon to give equal prize money, you have a better argument to make to other tournment officials.

terjw
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:45 PM
What I find insane is you thinking Wimbledon will follow the lead of lesser tournies when they won't even follow the lead of their slam equals. The route they are going is better in the line of thought that once Wimbledon sees the error of its ways, the other lesser tournies will follow suit, including RG. But, Wimbledon is the front runner, the leader of the pack in tennis. If you can get Wimbledon to give equal prize money, you have a better argument to make to other tournment officials.

You are confusing what you believe is right as a principle with the best way to make it happen.

If you are talking about what you believe is right - why the reluctance to say why no letter to IW with a greater disparity? Your case lacks consistency.

If you are saying how to make it happen - get real. The more letters like this the less likely Wimbledon are going to change the rules. Dave Cameron, Venus Williams or whoever have no influence over Wimbledon as a private club and it's their right to allocate prize money however they want. If that's the way you want to get IW to change it's rules - it will never happen.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:46 PM
What I find insane is you thinking Wimbledon will follow the lead of lesser tournies when they won't even follow the lead of their slam equals. The route they are going is better in the line of thought that once Wimbledon sees the error of its ways, the other lesser tournies will follow suit, including RG. But, Wimbledon is the front runner, the leader of the pack in tennis. If you can get Wimbledon to give equal prize money, you have a better argument to make to other tournment officials.
What's more pressure on Wimbledon? Seeing all of the tournaments give equal prize money? Or just seeing many tournaments give equal prize money?

*JR*
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:48 PM
Wimbledon has sent me a message: I'm only a second-class champion
Venus Williams
...........
"I intend to keep doing everything I can until Billie Jeanís original dream of equality is made real."
Uh Vee, "everything you (and the other women) can" would entail forming a real Players Association (as all major professional team sports have) and making a credible strike threat.

vwfan
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:56 PM
But there are bigger issues out there and I just can't picture Venus addressing these with the same force.

Does she have to take on all issues? I think her stand on this can stand on its own. She is leading on this one. She found it important to say something and now the criticism is that she should not just take this on, but other issues as well. Jeez!

Whatever. It's never enough.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:56 PM
You are confusing what you believe is right as a principle with the best way to make it happen.

If you are talking about what you believe is right - why the reluctance to say why no letter to IW with a greater disparity? Your case lacks consistency.

If you are saying how to make it happen - get real. The more letters like this the less likely Wimbledon are going to change the rules. Dave Cameron, Venus Williams or whoever have no influence over Wimbledon as a private club and it's their right to allocate prize money however they want. If that's the way you want to get IW to change it's rules - it will never happen.
I'm not confusing anything. The whole point is to make it happen. IW is not a slam. The point is to get all of the slams on the same page and then work on the lesser tournaments.

And, I have no idea what you are saying here:

If you are talking about what you believe is right - why the reluctance to say why no letter to IW with a greater disparity? Your case lacks consistency.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 08:58 PM
What's more pressure on Wimbledon? Seeing all of the tournaments give equal prize money? Or just seeing many tournaments give equal prize money?
Nothing so far has put pressure on them. I think appealing to them as the front runner. I don't think they care what anyone else does. Besides, Venus is taking a stand on Wimbledon. There are at least 100 other players who can take a stand on the lesser tournaments. It's not just Venus' fight. It took a lot of guts to stand up to Wimbledon.

vwfan
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:00 PM
As good as the letter is,Venus and others forget that Wimbledon runs things its own way,and they close ranks when they are challenged.The Wimbledon committe is run like the British government,full of Lords and Sirs.
Personnally,until women play the same amount of sets as men,i'm afraid the case for equal pay is weak.
You can scream discrimination and human rights till your blue in the face,but i doubt if anything will change anytime soon.Wimbledon stands by it's traditions!!!

(P.S. I'M A FEMALE)Well, if every leader stopped to act because s/he anticipates obstacles, we would never see human progress. She should be applauded for acting.

Next move. Wimbledon.

With all its tradition, it may not be able to resist equal pay much longer. Afterall didn't the land of tradition, just witness the marriage of the divorced crown prince to his mistress. :rolleyes:

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:03 PM
Well, if every leader stopped to act because s/he anticipates obstacles, we would never see human progress. She should be applauded for acting.

Next move. Wimbledon.

With all its tradition, it may not be able to resist equal pay much longer. Afterall didn't the land of tradition, just witness the marriage of the divorced crown prince to his mistress. :rolleyes:
To his divorced mistress, no less. Both divorces as a result of their illicite affair. :lol:

vwfan
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:06 PM
Nothing so far has put pressure on them. I think appealing to them as the front runner. I don't think they care what anyone else does. Besides, Venus is taking a stand on Wimbledon. There are at least 100 other players who can take a stand on the lesser tournaments. It's not just Venus' fight. It took a lot of guts to stand up to Wimbledon.Yeah, can you see Justine criticizing the French Open or Kim criticizing the U.S. Open, while they are reigning champions at those events. Give me a break.

This was an unnecessary, yet brave act on Venus' part. She didn't have to say anything and certainly nothing publicly. She deserves kudos for this, before everyone starts wagging their tongues about what else she should do or how else she could have done this. :rolleyes: Ridiculous.

Veenut
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:26 PM
Great Venus!! :yeah: For the most part these issues are not resolved overnight but if the players keep the pressure on changes will happen. I think the shrinking margins annually is an idication that eventually the pay will be equal. The women should all come together and publicly denounce the inequality.

Silence never bring about changes, it just reinforces the status quo, therefore Venus has taken the lead amongst the players by having her say on the record. I hope others will follow.

darrinbaker00
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:38 PM
Uh Vee, "everything you (and the other women) can" would entail forming a real Players Association (as all major professional team sports have) and making a credible strike threat.
The men did exactly that in '73, and the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club shrugged its shoulders and went on about its business (if you can tell me who won that year without looking it up, I'll give you a green dot). I'd be willing to bet that they would PREFER a strike, because that would allow them to fill the draw with British players.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:40 PM
The men did exactly that in '73, and the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club shrugged its shoulders and went on about its business (if you can tell me who won that year without looking it up, I'll give you a green dot). I'd be willing to bet that they would PREFER a strike, because that would allow them to fill the draw with British players.
:lol:

*JR*
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:40 PM
The men did exactly that in '73, and the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club shrugged its shoulders and went on about its business (if you can tell me who won that year without looking it up, I'll give you a green dot). I'd be willing to bet that they would PREFER a strike, because that would allow them to fill the draw with British players.Jan Kodes. And all it means is that they weren't united enough as a union.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:52 PM
Nothing so far has put pressure on them. I think appealing to them as the front runner. I don't think they care what anyone else does. Besides, Venus is taking a stand on Wimbledon. There are at least 100 other players who can take a stand on the lesser tournaments. It's not just Venus' fight. It took a lot of guts to stand up to Wimbledon.
Billie Jean has been fighting Wimbledon for over fourty years. She's continued to put the pressure on them and sooner or later it will work. She pressured Wimbledon to become one of the first slams to turn professional. She pressured the US Open to be the first slam to give equal prize money by insisting she will not show up the next year if it doesn't happen. Ignoring the fact that there is an American tourni that has had the prize money standards of the 70s isn't really helping them though.
It's nice to see Maria and Venus step up to the plate though and stand up to Wimbledon for this generation.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Billie Jean has been fighting Wimbledon for over fourty years. She's continued to put the pressure on them and sooner or later it will work. She pressured Wimbledon to become one of the first slams to turn professional. She pressured the US Open to be the first slam to give equal prize money by insisting she will not show up the next year if it doesn't happen. Ignoring the fact that there is an American tourni that has had the prize money standards of the 70s isn't really helping them though.
It's nice to see Maria and Venus step up to the plate though and stand up to Wimbledon for this generation.
Maria???!!! Where's her letter? :lol: You just cannot give Venus any credit without qualifying it or adding someone else in the mix can you?? I honestly think it might kill you. :lol: Pathetic. :rolleyes:

*JR*
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:02 PM
Billie Jean has been fighting Wimbledon for over fourty years. She's continued to put the pressure on them and sooner or later it will work. She pressured Wimbledon to become one of the first slams to turn professional. She pressured the US Open to be the first slam to give equal prize money by insisting she will not show up the next year if it doesn't happen. Ignoring the fact that there is an American tourni that has had the prize money standards of the 70s isn't really helping them though.
It's nice to see Maria and Venus step up to the plate though and stand up to Wimbledon for this generation.
BJK and Rosie Casals did their famous "double default" (@ the US Open, I think). Now sure they were getting screwed far worse than the women of today, maybe getting 15% of what the men did. (Even the enlightened Arthur Ashe once voiced the opinion that women's tennis "wouldn't draw flies"). But I'd hardly call what Masha and Venus are doing "standing up to Wimbledon", as they're making NO personal sacrifice for what they believe in.

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:05 PM
BJK and Rosie Casals did their famous "double default" (@ the US Open, I think). Now sure they were getting screwed far worse than the women of today, maybe getting 15% of what the men did. (Even the enlightened Arthur Ashe once voiced the opinion that women's tennis "wouldn't draw flies"). But I'd hardly call what Masha and Venus are doing "standing up to Wimbledon", as they're making NO personal sacrifice for what they believe in.
You don't know what the political consequences there are for Venus writing this open letter. But, whatever they are, she is willing to face it head on. Give her some credit. Geez.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Maria???!!! Where's her letter? :lol: You just cannot give Venus any credit without qualifying it or adding someone else in the mix can you?? I honestly think it might kill you. :lol: Pathetic. :rolleyes:
Maria has said some things as well as Venus. We're just not sure if Sharapova can write yet. :tape: That's in English or Russian. I give credit for Maria saying something that some top players have yet to do (Justine for one).

Denise4925
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:15 PM
Maria has said some things as well as Venus. We're just not sure if Sharapova can write yet. :tape: That's in English or Russian. I give credit for Maria saying something that some top players have yet to do (Justine for one).
I see you give Maria credit.

darrinbaker00
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:22 PM
Jan Kodes. And all it means is that they weren't united enough as a union.
1. I must spread some love around before I give some to you again. I'll get you as soon as I can.

2. I think the AELTCC's stance on the equal pay issue is proof positive that they don't care what the players think. They're going to do what they're going to do.

Wannabeknowitall
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:30 PM
BJK and Rosie Casals did their famous "double default" (@ the US Open, I think). Now sure they were getting screwed far worse than the women of today, maybe getting 15% of what the men did. (Even the enlightened Arthur Ashe once voiced the opinion that women's tennis "wouldn't draw flies"). But I'd hardly call what Masha and Venus are doing "standing up to Wimbledon", as they're making NO personal sacrifice for what they believe in.
You do have a point there. There are no personal sacrifices yet. Again we're talking about a player who hasn't played Indian Wells not because of a difference in prize money but because of other indiscretions.

*JR*
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:34 PM
You don't know what the political consequences there are for Venus writing this open letter. But, whatever they are, she is willing to face it head on. Give her some credit. Geez.
Maybe she'll benefit from it by being seen as a feminist icon, who knows? (I'm not saying that's WHY she's doing it, only that the "consequences" could easily be positive instead). What the hell are they going to do to Venus, make her drink their warm beer? :lol:

darrinbaker00
Jun 26th, 2006, 10:34 PM
You don't know what the political consequences there are for Venus writing this open letter. But, whatever they are, she is willing to face it head on. Give her some credit. Geez.
What political consequences could Venus possibly suffer, De? I don't think she has any individual endorsement deals (Wilson and McDonald's have always announced the sisters' signings as if they were a joint thing, and we all know about Vee and Reebok), and no tournament promoter in his or her right mind would blackball Venus Williams from playing in his or her event. Being a lawyer, you would know better than I would, but I don't see what anybody could do to her.

Kworb
Jun 27th, 2006, 02:50 AM
A great letter, kudos to Venus for telling the person who wrote it what it should be about.

serenafann
Jun 27th, 2006, 04:23 AM
Venus,so well put.

vwfan
Jun 27th, 2006, 04:32 AM
What political consequences could Venus possibly suffer, De? I don't think she has any individual endorsement deals (Wilson and McDonald's have always announced the sisters' signings as if they were a joint thing, and we all know about Vee and Reebok), and no tournament promoter in his or her right mind would blackball Venus Williams from playing in his or her event. Being a lawyer, you would know better than I would, but I don't see what anybody could do to her.There are always consequences for leading. They don't all need be economic, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were economic consequences as well. Companies steer clear of controversy of any sort, so there could very well be subtle pressure not to make waves so that everyone can just keep making money.

darrinbaker00
Jun 27th, 2006, 04:35 AM
There are always consequences for leading. They don't all need be economic, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were economic consequences as well. Companies steer clear of controversy of any sort, so there could very well be subtle pressure not to make waves so that everyone can just keep making money.
I'll ask again: what consequences could she suffer?

Lindsayfan32
Jun 27th, 2006, 07:17 AM
I'm very impressed. Venus's article was well written and with great arguments for why women should get equal prize. Venus has never really spoken out about thr prize money issue before and I'm glad she did. With her high profile she might get thing changed over time. 25 million profit against a 456,000 prize money increase, thety are drop kicks for not doing it already.

Denise4925
Jun 27th, 2006, 06:19 PM
What political consequences could Venus possibly suffer, De? I don't think she has any individual endorsement deals (Wilson and McDonald's have always announced the sisters' signings as if they were a joint thing, and we all know about Vee and Reebok), and no tournament promoter in his or her right mind would blackball Venus Williams from playing in his or her event. Being a lawyer, you would know better than I would, but I don't see what anybody could do to her.
Didn't I say, you don't know what political consequences could happen to Venus? :confused:

I don't know darrin, I'm not in that profession. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors or the ins and outs of dealings within the profession. Nor do I know the political ramifications for bucking the system. People in business always find a way to make a person in the organization pay for going against the grain, if going against the grain would cause economical or other harm to the business.

StarDuvallGrant
Jun 27th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Article Last Updated: 06/27/2006 02:45:26 AM PDT

Venus decries Wimbledon's male bias
Column by Art Spander (typoes@aol.com)

WIMBLEDON, England ó She's hit beautiful shots with her rackets. The shot Venus Williams fired Monday may have been more forceful. A young woman who usually makes the news instead was writing it. From the heart. And spleen.

Venus today was to play the first match in defense of her Wimbledon women's championship. But that's been delayed until Wednesday.

Yes, England's monthlong drought is over. The start of Wimbledon'06 guaranteed that. It rained Monday, obligating a change in schedule practically before the schedule was underway.

It's normally the men's champion on Monday, the women's on Tuesday, but Roger Federer, the'05 men's winner, and opponent Richard Gasquet got in only a half hour of play before the downpour took center court on Centre Court.

Federer, after winning the first set from Richard Gasquet, 6-3, and trailing in the second, 2-1, on this wet day were left, you should pardon the expression, high and dry.

That, figuratively, is the location of women's tennis at Wimbledon, which brought Venus to the op-ed page of the Times of London.

There, beneath the headline, "Wimbledon has sent me a message: I'm only a second-class citizen," Miss Williams legitimately decried the difference between prize money awarded men and women.

"There is nothing like playing at Wimbledon," Venus contends, attempting to write the wrongs. "You can feel the footprints of the legends of the game ó men and women ó that have graced these courts."

Her surprising victory of'05, Venus' third singles championship, came, "at a time when most people didn't consider me a contender. So the decision of the All England Lawn Tennis Club yet again to treat women as lesser players than men ó undeserving of the same amount of prize money ó has a particular sting."

The men's champion earns $53,000 more than the women's, which isn't all that great, but the men's total purse is $1.35 million more than the women's, which is that great. "I'm disappointed not for myself," Williams insisted, "but for all my fellow women players who have struggled so hard to get here, and who just like the men give their all on the courts. I'm disappointed for the great legends of the game, such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, who have never stopped fighting for equality. And disappointed that the home of tennis is sending a message to women across the world that we are inferior."

From the 26-year-old Williams, the words are particularly http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifpoignant. An African American in a sport virtually as white as the clothes Wimbledon requires for competitors, she well knows about inequality.

"I've spent my life overcoming challenges," Venus reminded.

A Times staff member said he was told Williams did most of the writing herself, with some help. She did all of the thinking herself.

The U.S. Open, for 33 years, and the Australian Open offer the same prize money to women and men. The French Open does not, but it pays the champions equally. Wimbledon, the original, the first tournament, the oldest tournament, goes about on its merry, anachronistic journey.

Wimbledon's explanation is the men and women don't play the same number of sets, the men's matches are best-of-5, the women best-of-3, so why should the ladies, as they're referred to here, be paid as much?

It is a lame argument. As Venus reminds, the women's final last year, in which she beat Lindsay Davenport, lasted 45 minutes longer than Federer's win over Andy Roddick.

"No extra charge," Venus remarks of her 2-hour, 45-minute victory.

Through the decades, it often has been the women who brought attention to Wimbledon, "Gorgeous" Gussie Moran in 1949 wearing lacy underwear, Virginia Wade in 1977 being the last Brit to take a championship, Martina Navratilova in the mid-1980s winning six straight singles titles. And the tabloids couldn't get enough photos of Anna Kournikova or now Maria Sharapova.

"Athletes are also entertainers," Williams wrote, correctly. "We enjoy huge and equal celebrity and are paid for the value we deliver to broadcasters and spectators, not the amount of time we spend on stage."

You want us to play more sets, Williams offers, then the women will play more sets.

Change, however, comes slowly to Britain. Too slowly.

The money difference, Venus pointed out, isn't about, well money, but about politics; about a misplaced belief of superiority of one gender over the other.

In the 21st century, unfortunately, Wimbledon still remains immersed in the 19th.

Art Spander has earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

typoes@aol.com (typoes@aol.com).

marmite1
Jun 27th, 2006, 07:44 PM
I'm shocked. Venus :yeah:

.ivy.
Jun 27th, 2006, 08:15 PM
Great letter, heart-felt, well researched, and well written. :yeah:

Hopefully Venus' letter will inspire other players to write to the AELTC about this issue.

Sharapova's_Boy
Jun 29th, 2006, 07:41 AM
Wow, that's an awesome letter from Venus. :worship:

Maria Croft
Jun 29th, 2006, 09:33 AM
That is one amazing article :yeah: