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Tech1
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:01 AM
4pm GMT

'Ashamed' Navratilova regains Czech nationality

This article was first published on guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) on Tuesday March 11 2008. It was last updated at 17:07 on March 11 2008.http://image.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/03/11/Navratilova460.jpg Martina Navratilova is 'ashamed' of George Bush. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Reuters

Martina Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon champion, has regained her Czech nationality after saying she was "ashamed" of George Bush.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, where she is due to play in an exhibition tournament, Navratilova confirmed she had again become a citizen of the country of her birth, 33 years after she fled communist Czechoslovakia to live in the US.

"I lost [Czech citizenship] at the time I defected. I got it back on February 9," she said, adding that she had decided to retain her US nationality.

In an interview last year with a Czech newspaper, Lidove Noviny, the tennis player said she was as ashamed of the US under Bush as she once was about Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia after communism fell in 1993.

"The thing is that we elected Bush," she said. "That is worse! Against that, nobody chose a communist government in Czechoslovakia."

Navratilova was 18 when she fled to the US, angering the communist Czech regime, which immediately stripped her of her nationality. She became an American citizen in 1981. She later said she had been forced to leave Czechoslovakia because the authorities were trying to stop her from playing in the US, where the majority of big tournaments were then held.

She had little cause to regret that decision. She went on to become one of the most successful players of all time, winning 18 grand slam singles titles, including nine Wimbledon crowns, and 31 grand slam doubles titles. Her natural strength and obsession with physical fitness helped prolong her career well beyond the length of most athletes.

Navratilova retired in 1994 but re-emerged six years later to win several doubles tournaments. She played her last competitive match in 2006, capturing the mixed doubles title at the US Open, the 354th tournament of her career.

Since retiring, the outspoken 51-year-old has commentated for the BBC and the Tennis Channel, but devotes much of her time to charitable and political causes. She has worked for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals and underprivileged children and campaigned for gay and lesbian rights.

She is currently a fitness and health ambassador for the AARP, an advocacy group for the over-50s that has more than 39 million members, and plans to open a tennis academy for youngsters in the Czech Republic.

Navratilova first indicated she was unhappy with the Bush administration's position on gay and lesbian rights in a 2002 interview on CNN's Connie Chung Tonight show.

Asked why she had told a German newspaper that she felt as if she had changed "one system that suppresses free opinion for another", Navratilova said that, as a lesbian, life was harder in the US than in Europe.

Accused by Chung of being "un-American", Navratilova responded: "When I see something that I don't like, I'm going to speak out because you can do that here. And again, I feel there are too many things happening that are taking our rights away.
"I think athletes have a duty to speak out when there is something that's not right, when they feel that perhaps social issues are not being paid attention to. As a woman, as a lesbian, as a woman athlete, there is a whole bunch of barriers that I've had to jump over, and we shouldn't have to be jumping over them any more."

slamchamp
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:03 AM
wow:eek:

floco
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Who can blame her.... Wise decision. Too bad we don't hear more American celebrities really take a stand - when it mattered at least.
Hopefully this will change a little soon. (?)

danieln1
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:32 AM
But in a few months there will be a new president, she should have waited...

Shvedbarilescu
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:39 AM
Good for her. Gutsy decision. Great too for the Czech Rep who can once again consider probably the greatest female athlete of our generation to be one of their own. :yeah:

Yellow Moon
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:39 AM
my words! I'm ashamed too. And not just for Bush, but all those creating US foreign policy...

Shvedbarilescu
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:40 AM
But in a few months there will be a new president, she should have waited...

She didn't give up her American citizenship. She became a duel citizen. So she is prepared however the next election pans out. :worship:

kittyking
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:45 AM
Just goes to show that Lindsay is smarter :)

asiandude
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:50 AM
Is shes serious she should leave U.S, live in Czech, help promote her country, run president, the first "out" President.

Arhivarius
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:03 AM
You can't change your nationality.
You can change only citizenship.

dwynn10
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:06 AM
Big fucking deal! I thought she gave up her US citizenship altogether, which would have been a much more dramatic gesture. Not that I don't agree with her views on Bush, but regaining dual citizenship doesn't really cost her anything.

In The Zone
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:12 AM
Bush is leaving .. she waited so long. :lol:

We'll get her back in Jan 2009. :p

DaMamaJama87
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:01 AM
She didn't do anything. She didn't give up her US citizenship at all, she just got Czech citizenship on top of it. That's not a "statement." That's playing both sides. I think her US citizenship should be revoked after all she's said about the President.

Dawn Marie
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:27 AM
Martina is playing both sides. I can relate, I mean I am so close to moving to Canada.

yukon145
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:13 AM
if she is so 'ashamed' of the US why is she still going to live here? is she 'ashamed' of all the opportunities this country have given her and the money she has made?

didn't think so.

cellophane
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:23 AM
Martina is playing both sides. I can relate, I mean I am so close to moving to Canada.

:tape: :tape: :tape:

DolceVita
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:33 AM
Good gesture from Martina and sometimes that is enough. More power to you.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:39 AM
If Billie Jean King had done it, I'd be surprised. Martina has been promising to get her Czech citizenship back for quite a while now, so what's the shock really. Some of us don't have anywhere else to go, so we hang in there through the good and the bad happenings in hopes of positive changes in our countries (USA or where ever).

pav
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:52 AM
What an empty meaningless, run with the hare and hunt with the hounds gesture! She sure liked the good ol U.S.A when it suited her,nothing like a plastic protester is there?I have to bugger off for a few days looking for cattle in the bush, at least I won't read about Martina Tupperware:mad:

woosey
Mar 12th, 2008, 05:51 AM
she should give up her american citizenship entirely and get the hell out of this country since it's soooo bad.

it's easy, and a mark of privilege, to be able to escape. but it's a mark of courage to fight and speak out.

she could have just said oh i want to reconnect with my roots, blah blah blah and that's why i want to have citizenship. but no, she had to insult the u.s., a country that opened it's doors to her when she decided to abandon her birth country.

this country has enabled her to do so well in life and this is how she repays the u.s.?

please leave.

treufreund
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Good On Ya, Martina!!!

safinismine
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Why now ? Why not when the world first learnt of Bush's idiocy,ie the moment he came into power.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:05 AM
Why didn't she do this in 2004. It's too late Martina

drake3781
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:30 AM
:tape: :tape: :tape:

:lol:

Wimbledon9
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:35 AM
Why are you all so upset, Martina told years ago that she hated Bush, she never said that she hated the country or its people although she had reasons enough. Martina has given more to the USA then it has given her, you have never been really nice to her. Martina earned her money all over the world with tennismatches but she spent it in the USA en paid her taxes there. You gave her no endorsements when she was a world class player and always talking first of all the tennisplayers born on American soil. When the Czech republic became a member of the European Community she got the chance to get her Czech passport back that they had taken from her after her defection. It took the USA 6 years to give her citizenship so that was not very quick, 6 years to tell that you do not belong to any country. Where were you with your protest or are you to young to know this all. Martina should have gone to some nice European country when she defected, after all in her heart she is European. She has tried to get het passport from the Czech Republic for several years the stuff they are writing in this article is old and she explained a couple of months ago in tennis magazine how things really were.I know one thing from this board if you think you can write negative things about Martina you will do it. There are plenty of positive things to write about do that too. Like that tennis is a lot more boring now then in her days.

Sammm
Mar 12th, 2008, 10:47 AM
Connie Chung is an idiot to call her Unamerican just because she spoke out against the administration. I hate the fact that anyone criticising anything is unpatriotic and doesn't care about their country. This does seem quite a drastic move, though.

Veritas
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Good grief! Smart choice she made there, keeping her US passport. But as a celebrity, did it cross her mind doing that might make some people think she's "ashamed" of the US as a country, rather than its president? :confused:

if she is so 'ashamed' of the US why is she still going to live here? is she 'ashamed' of all the opportunities this country have given her and the money she has made?

didn't think so.

Martina earned that money through her OWN efforts. True, the US offered opportunities, but what Martina made of it was her doing, not the country's.

Sam L
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:29 AM
she should give up her american citizenship entirely and get the hell out of this country since it's soooo bad.

it's easy, and a mark of privilege, to be able to escape. but it's a mark of courage to fight and speak out.

she could have just said oh i want to reconnect with my roots, blah blah blah and that's why i want to have citizenship. but no, she had to insult the u.s., a country that opened it's doors to her when she decided to abandon her birth country.

this country has enabled her to do so well in life and this is how she repays the u.s.?

please leave.

Well said. Actually her actions are an insult to those minorities in America and other countries who - for better or worse - stayed and fought for a better life because it was the right thing to do rather than cause a drama and leave.

Fact is, Martina didn't need to leave. She decided to be a drama queen and turn her back on not the Administration in office right now - but the American people and especially fans - who embraced her when she desperately needed America.

She should grow up and realise that in a democratic country like America, Administrations don't last more than at most 8 years and that you have freedom of speech to speak up and act. She chose to run away and be a drama queen.

Good riddance.

Sam L
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Connie Chung is an idiot to call her Unamerican just because she spoke out against the administration. I hate the fact that anyone criticising anything is unpatriotic and doesn't care about their country. This does seem quite a drastic move, though.

She's UNamerican for turning her back on the country and its people. Not for speaking out against the Administration. Democrats do that all the time - no one (that's sane) is calling them UNamerican. :rolleyes:

Dan23
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Swapping nationalities again is hardly going to show anyone anything. Pick a country and stick to it :o

Veritas
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Obviously some people here either can't read or didn't bother at all.

To make their life easier, I'll highlight the points raised in the article.

Martina Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon champion, has regained her Czech nationality...

"Regained" her Czech nationality, not "swapping" it.

...saying she was "ashamed" of George Bush.

"Ashamed" of George Bush, not the U.S.

"I lost [Czech citizenship] at the time I defected. I got it back on February 9," she said, adding that she had decided to retain her US nationality.

She retained her U.S. passport, and didn't give it up.

Accused by Chung of being "un-American", Navratilova responded: "When I see something that I don't like, I'm going to speak out because you can do that here. And again, I feel there are too many things happening that are taking our rights away.
"I think athletes have a duty to speak out when there is something that's not right, when they feel that perhaps social issues are not being paid attention to. As a woman, as a lesbian, as a woman athlete, there is a whole bunch of barriers that I've had to jump over, and we shouldn't have to be jumping over them any more."

A foundation of America's system is freedom. And that includes having the right to voice an opinion.

So how's that "un-American"? :confused:

Sam L
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Obviously some people here either can't read or didn't bother at all.

To make their life easier, I'll highlight the points raised in the article.



"Regained" her Czech nationality, not "swapping" it.



"Ashamed" of George Bush, not the U.S.



She retained her U.S. passport, and didn't give it up.



A foundation of America's system is freedom. And that includes having the right to voice an opinion.

So how's that "un-American"? :confused:
Like I said, she wants drama. Anyone can just regain their lost nationality or get a new one; or speak up against their government but she decided to do both at the same time.

What she's doing seems innocent but she's making a statement that she prefers Czech citizenship now. That's the whole UNamerican thing. Not that she dared to speak up against the Administration.

Sam L
Mar 12th, 2008, 11:59 AM
It's not about the actual physical actions but the symbolism.

By making a symbolic statement that she prefers to be Czech now, she's implicitly saying that she's ashamed to be American.

You can speak up against the Administration. Personally, I know many American environmental groups that have. They criticize and criticize Bush and his policies but they're not UNamerican and they're not packing up and getting citizenships elsewhere.

Andy T
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:20 PM
Like I said, she wants drama. Anyone can just regain their lost nationality or get a new one; or speak up against their government but she decided to do both at the same time.

What she's doing seems innocent but she's making a statement that she prefers Czech citizenship now. That's the whole UNamerican thing. Not that she dared to speak up against the Administration.

Utter rubbish. You don't know what you're talking about. Martina's been speaking out against Bush and his policies for years. As previous posters have mentioned, she made a clear distinction between the US & Bush in her comments and the fact is that she's keeping her US passport IN SPITE of Bush still being president .

She's also been investigating the possibility of regaining Czech nationality for years. It should have happened ages back, after the fall of the Communist régime when anyone who defected was able to get their citizenship back but due to a mix-up she didn't get her application in on time. Afterwards it became more complicated but it's something she's wanted to do for a long time.

Sam L
Mar 12th, 2008, 12:29 PM
Utter rubbish. You don't know what you're talking about. Martina's been speaking out against Bush and his policies for years. As previous posters have mentioned, she made a clear distinction between the US & Bush in her comments and the fact is that she's keeping her US passport IN SPITE of Bush still being president .

She's also been investigating the possibility of regaining Czech nationality for years. It should have happened ages back, after the fall of the Communist régime when anyone who defected was able to get their citizenship back but due to a mix-up she didn't get her application in on time. Afterwards it became more complicated but it's something she's wanted to do for a long time.
Actually I do know what I'm talking about. Why don't talk about the points I made instead of regurgitating what the articles said?

The point is that she made comments about the US government and the American people's decision to elect that government and her regaining Czech citizenship at the same time.

This could've been a simple, "Hi everyone, I got my Czech citizenship back after years of trying."

And you actually proved my point that she has been criticizing the Bush government in the past and she could again but why did she need to tie it with her regaining Czech citizenship? Get my point?

thrust
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Martina Navratilova is an attention starved phony who can^t stand being out of the tennis spotlight. Hopefully, she will leave the US forever. To compare Bush to Stalin is a lie in order to get her attention. Good riddance to bad rubbage!

thrust
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:43 PM
I have nothing against Martina wanting to reclaim her Czech citizenship, but to blame Bush for it is pure bull---t. Again, she is a pathetic unloved lesbian, who is looking for love and fame. What a pathetic person!

Andrew Laeddis
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:49 PM
dammit. this thread got my hopes up for nothing. i was hopin she gave up her american citizenship. i wish she would. im glad we have seles and lendl but martina can go back to europe.

Andrew Laeddis
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Martina Navratilova is an attention starved phony who can^t stand being out of the tennis spotlight. Hopefully, she will leave the US forever. To compare Bush to Stalin is a lie in order to get her attention. Good riddance to bad rubbage!

she has plenty of spotlight. she gets to talk about her self at all the major tennis events she commentates on for the tennis channel.

DA FOREHAND
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:13 PM
Big fucking deal! I thought she gave up her US citizenship altogether, which would have been a much more dramatic gesture. Not that I don't agree with her views on Bush, but regaining dual citizenship doesn't really cost her anything.

You're right, but it puts her in a headline...Somewhere.

it's not big deal whoop t doo, she now has duel citizenship. Be bold give up your US citizenship.

Steff_forever
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:20 PM
w/d Martina, hoped Monica would have done that, too (7 years ago).

And this is the only thing I wish Steffi would have done after marrying: going to America when this President is gone. ;)

esquímaux
Mar 12th, 2008, 03:31 PM
What an empty meaningless, run with the hare and hunt with the hounds gesture! She sure liked the good ol U.S.A when it suited her,nothing like a plastic protester is there?I have to bugger off for a few days looking for cattle in the bush, at least I won't read about Martina Tupperware:mad:"when it suited her....." That is the underlying theme of this farce. Self-serving trick And yes, I said FARCE. Methinks she is trying to send a message with this gesture, but I feel people can really give a rat's arse. Of course Martina is heralded in the tennis world, but in the political ring, she's toast.....BURNT TOAST. I'm sure Georgeypoo didn't even give a 2nd glance at the spectacle of Martina's "ashamed" comments.....heaven knows he's heard it before...with all his empty gestures and defunct policies. Hell, even I shudder on the inside when mentioning that I'm American abroad :tape: So don't blame Martina ( :tape: ) She's just trying to send a message....as usual. Oh, and btw, aside from the crow's feet around those heavily bagged eyes, she looks great for 51 (not sarcasm).

pov
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Like I said, she wants drama. Anyone can just regain their lost nationality or get a new one; or speak up against their government but she decided to do both at the same time.

What she's doing seems innocent but she's making a statement that she prefers Czech citizenship now. That's the whole UNamerican thing. Not that she dared to speak up against the Administration.

As another poster said: "utter rubbish."

pov
Mar 12th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Are people here vacant? Read the friggin' article. Do you not see that this was a story cobbled together by the media?

Sometime last year Navratilova said how Bush is an embarrassment. This year she regains her Czech citizenship. So some reporter with nothing better to do, decides to patch together a lame story. She isn't the one that tied the two thing together.Can anyone find a quote in which she says "I regained my Czexh nationality because of the state of things in the uS" then

IceSkaTennisFan
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:15 PM
But in a few months there will be a new president, she should have waited...
Her decision was probably in the works for a while. Those kinds of citizenship issues take some time to process, so I'm sure she didn't just up and decide to go back now.

frenchie
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:55 PM
I find it really stupid to change nationality only because of a president

So tomorrow I leave my job because I have a new boss!!!

cheo23
Mar 13th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Umm People have Dual Citizenships ALL THE TIME!!! Big deal Martina!!!! IF you were really UPSET you should've denounced your US citizenship too!!!!

Andy T
Mar 13th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Are people here vacant? Read the friggin' article. Do you not see that this was a story cobbled together by the media?

Sometime last year Navratilova said how Bush is an embarrassment. This year she regains her Czech citizenship. So some reporter with nothing better to do, decides to patch together a lame story. She isn't the one that tied the two thing together.Can anyone find a quote in which she says "I regained my Czexh nationality because of the state of things in the uS" then

:bounce:there is intelligent life in GM!

Yasmine
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:02 PM
:bounce:there is intelligent life in GM!

yes, and she's keeping her US passport. So what's the problem.

Once again, dual citizenship is doable, I'm an example of it, as is half of my family.

My question is why did she give up her Czech citizenship when she got the US one, in the first place :scratch:

That said, saying "we elected Bush, that's worse" well yes that's called democracy, I think the same when I look at my own country's president. But that doesn't mean I'm ashamed to be french because of it.

Lunaris
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:35 PM
My question is why did she give up her Czech citizenship when she got the US one, in the first place :scratch:
The Czechoslovak citizenship was taken from Martina after her emigration. She didn't have any say in the matter. Emigration from here was a crime punishable by several years in prison, and after serving this sentence you got a nice job in uranium mines for many following years. Obviously because Martina was out of reach of the communist authorities the only thing they could do was strip Martina of her citizenship and tell people how bad she was.

Yasmine
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:41 PM
The Czechoslovak citizenship was taken from Martina after her emigration. She didn't have any say in the matter. Emigration from here was a crime punishable by several years in prison, and after serving this sentence you got a nice job in uranium mines for many following years. Obviously because Martina was out of reach of the communist authorities the only thing they could do was strip Martina of her citizenship and tell people how bad she was.
Okay;) thanks for clearing that up.

toasino
Mar 13th, 2008, 08:41 PM
Navratilova just wants to be in tennis headlines, she is a total phony.