View Full Version : Williams Sisters and Crowd Support

Sep 7th, 2002, 02:10 PM
No, its NOT a shame American tennis crowds don't much support Venus or Serena. Is is unfortunate? Yes. Regrettable? Yes. Racially motivated? Sure. A shame?

I wouldn't call it that.

First of all, the crowds aren't most American tennis fans. If they were, the sport would never be on TV in this country. Venus and Serena are compensated very well in the endorsement department BECAUSE of their popularity. As an old performer, I know that Venus and Serena are missing something with the lack of US crowd support. But thay ARE cheered heavily in other countries. It's not like they never hear wild cheers. They just don't hear them in the USA very often. They were two of THE most popular players at the Olympics, in any sport.

Would it be nice to feel the unalloyed support of a US crowd in a US tournament? I don't know, I've never felt it myself.

The crowds are the area where the last remnant of the old. exclusionary elite of American tennis crowds hold sway. It was a rich, white, exclusionary sport, and a lot of its fans liked it that way. That section of the crowd will never back Venus or Serena enthusiastically. Why should they? Its their world that's being torn down, their values that are being trashed, their belief system being exposed as fallacious.

Does all that come down to a 'shame'?


Realize, all this goes on on national television. Articles get written about it the next day. Venus and Serena virtually always wind up looking good in these articles, and the crowds wind up looking back. The analysis always makes Venus or Serena look good. Even RICHARD gets virtually all good press these days. And when's the last time yousaw an article about how Venus and Serena need to 'seperate' from Richard?

It's a process of adjustment. Very few people thought Richard Williams would be right. And some things were said that people regret now. Positions hardened. And now, all we can do is move on. Sure people applauded Venus double faults. BUt not many. So few, you could hear the isolated clapping. Well, everyone watching is thinking, 'what a poor sport'. The overall process moves in a positive direction. This wasn't Serena vs Kim at indian Wells.

THe WTA is just now getting their Arthur Ashe. Blacks players who are also the BEST players. American crowds will adjust. Or get old and die off. Give everyone time.

Every Williams victory in front of a hostile American crowd moves us forward toward a better day.

Sep 7th, 2002, 02:36 PM
hmm Williams sisters are just no players who love to communicate with fans... we don't know much about them... while other tennisplayers communicate often with eachoter, train together..the williams sisters are always training alone, they seem to stay away from the other players.

The fans love players who like to communicate with them..who are very congenial.

Sep 7th, 2002, 02:43 PM
I have heard people in the US Open cheer for Venus and Serena as much as any other player. Sure sometimes they cheer for their opponents also because they are the underdogs, but they did the same when Hingis, Seles, Graf was no.1, they always cheer for the underdog playing against them. It has nothing to do with race. Look at the ovation that the Williams sisters will get tonight and you'll realize that people do love them as much as anyone else.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:17 PM
Nice post Volcana ..I think your more moderate view is much closer to the truth of the situation ......i was really depressed about Indian Wells but all this other stuff I know the girls can handle ....I doubt whether they miss so much something they never had in the first place......As a poster wrote in another thread a lot of the williams support comes from the young of all backgrounds race and gender etc........and thats refreshing since one day it will be their world . This is my favourite year of tennis been watching for over 20years (just hope the girls can finish the year healthy, without injury)..so all the negativity is not fazing me at all......few hours of crap compared to months of joy to remember, doesn't even come close. History will treat the williams sisters fairly ,...already the mainstream media is pulling away from trying to pass off some foul mouth, dimwitted brat as our "American hero " when all the other American compete just a hard and are articulate ..intelligent and never rude ..that to me is already a step in the right direction.
Have a great finals night Venus and Serena good luck too you both.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:19 PM
The reason they booed them at Indian Wells is because they were waiting for a match and it got cancelled by 2 sisters at the very last minute while the spectators payed money and were waiting. It has nothing to do with them being black. So did people boo Hingis at the French because she's white? Heck they even booed Monica when she lost to Hingis love & love even though she was injured. Hmmm... they must hate all races.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:30 PM
Selesrules that post was hardly about race and you are the only person debating that issue in this thread. You could have responded without it but I guess not.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:35 PM
Kay, please read before you write. Every post in this thread mentions race including Volcana's. You are the ones who keep mentionning it and making it an issue, I just said that people in general always cheer for the underdogs more then the favorites.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:38 PM
selesrules - The Indian Wells match was not cancelled by 2 sisters. One player had an injury, that was later verified by a panel of the best physicians in the to be quite valid, and validly defaulted.

Volcana - Very good post and some fine points.
Unfortunately you have thrown some of these fine pearls before a few swine.

Sep 7th, 2002, 03:40 PM
hmm Williams sisters are just no players who love to communicate with fans...
This is a lie. I'm always reading posts at this website/forum and in others, by fans who have met and talked with, taken pictures with Venus and Serena.... and if you haven't noticed, they TOO, acknowledge/sign autograhs for the fans after matches.
while other tennisplayers communicate often with eachoter, train together..the williams sisters are always training alone, they seem to stay away from the other players.
.. you heard it from the mouth of Jennifer Capriati... referring to her interaction with the Williams sisters she said something to the effect of, "We aren't going to be having tea together anytime soon, but there is a mutual respect there"... something like that. ;) Capriati doesn't feel required to, reach out and touch EVERYBODY on the tour.. the Williams may not be baking pies for the other players, but enough of them have said and do say the sisters are friendly.

Sep 7th, 2002, 04:04 PM
Selesrules, thanks for the advice.

As I stated before, this post was NOT about race. It was a very moderate post indeed. You only focused on the one part where he mentioned race. I wonder why?

TexasTech Guy
Sep 7th, 2002, 04:50 PM
Venus and Serena get plenty of crowd support in New York. These crowds are pretty neutral and they pretty much just want to root for the underdog.

Venus matches in 1997 the crowd was totally pro Venus, and Serena in 1999 pro Serena. So we cant really say this crowd is a racist bunch. They would just like somsone else to win something.

Sep 7th, 2002, 05:19 PM
"Cheering for the underdog", eh?
Next it will be because VENUS & SERENA are "over qualified for the positions". LOL

Such is life.

Sep 7th, 2002, 05:21 PM
Good thoughts, Volcana. It's a social process and deep seated attitudes that have become structural are hard to displace.

Also, as you insinuated, there is some consciousness of guilt from the "crowds". The humiliation associated with that is the very definition of shame.

Sep 7th, 2002, 08:30 PM
Volcana, very good post. I agree with your points.;)