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CHOCO
Sep 3rd, 2002, 02:52 PM
New York Daily News
9-3-02



A day after the Daily News reported that umpire Cecil Hollins had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - saying the United States Tennis Association has discriminated against him because he is black - the USTA tried to clarify its assigning process.
Richard Kaufman, the USTA's director of officials, said yesterday that race, gender and age are not factors in how umpires are given matches.

"It's not a criteria, it's just not," Kaufman said last night. "We have blinders on. It's about quality, period."

Hollins alleged that the USTA had denied him prime officiating assignments at the U.S. Open because of his race.

Jerry Heckman, a tennis official who has worked with Hollins on several occasions, voiced his support for Hollins. The two men worked together at the Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven the week before the U.S. Open, and Hollins told Heckman about his plans to file the complaint with the EEOC.

"I go along with everything he's trying to accomplish," Heckman said from his Florida home. "There have been many discussions at tournaments talking about these issues and to see someone go through with it makes me feel very good."

Sam Borden

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