View Full Version : Martina said crowd against Venus was "disappointing"

Tennis Fool
Sep 8th, 2002, 02:56 AM
Pam Shriver mentioned to Martina Navratilova that in 1985 when Martina was a US citizen playing against Hana Mandlikova that the crowd was overwhelming for Hana, and that it was similar to what Venus experienced in her match against Amelie Mauresmo.

Martina said it was "disappointing", although she thought it was a New York thing to root for the underdog and it didn't have to do with race.

the cat
Sep 8th, 2002, 03:51 AM
I'm about as American as you can get! But my favorite tennis players are Russian. And I'll cheer for who I want to. It's tennis match, not a War! And alot of Americans root for the underdog.
Martina shouldn'rt be telling Americans that we need to root for fellow Americans in tennis. That's nonsense! :mad:

darren cahill
Sep 8th, 2002, 04:13 AM
I also agree you should root for who you want to, I'm american and always pulled for Steffi Graf to win whenever or whoever she played, that said, I also agree with what Navratilova said. She did not say we HAD to root for Americans, she just said in no other country do they root against their own (except France with Mary Pierce) and thats true. If Tim henman was playing in a wimbledon final against an underdog, they'd still be for Tim, if pat rafter was in an aussie final against anyone, they'd be for Pat. But Venus and Serena seem to have everyone against them and that is a bit strange here in america. Serena said that herself during that MTV diary show, she said even when she plays another american (speaking of Jennifer) they pull for the other american. I guess the price you pay for being so great.

Williams Rulez
Sep 8th, 2002, 07:06 AM
Sigh... it is not a nice feeling when you are never cheered for... :sad:

Sep 8th, 2002, 07:15 AM
Here is the transcript of the conversation between Martina & Pam:

Pam: Martina, watching this match, you've already picked up a few things including who the crowd seems to be for early.

Martina: Well, that was right away apparent that they really wanted Venus Williams to win. But I think they'll be applauding good shots but definitely she's the favorite right now.

Pam: And you faced a situation in the 1985 final - you were an American citizen, playing Hana Mandlikova of the Czech Republic; the crowd was totally against you and you equated that a little bit to what's happening sometimes with the Williams sisters.

Martina: Well, I thought yesterday when Venus played against Mauresmo and the way the crowd was supporting Mauresmo was really, really disappointing. There is no way that that would happen for any American in Europe, playing against a French player, an English player, whoever. And I think people cannot forget that these are American women and they're great for the sport and they need to be a little more supportive even if they are overwhelming favorites.

Pam: So you think it's just because they're stronger than everybody else?

Martina: I don't think it's racist. I think it really has to do with the underdog or the favorite syndrome and Americans take it a little too far sometimes.

Pam: Thanks, Martina.

Dawn Marie
Sep 8th, 2002, 09:31 AM
Dont let the media fool you. Martina spoke her opinions about the crowd. Maybe they should of asked other people, but don't take Martina's theory as face value. The crowd booed Momo cause Venus is black not everyone but the masses sure did. So go on and cheer for who you wish for your favs. I am sure people in this thread, are not the same exact people who cheered for Momo(cause they sure didn't cheer so loud as when Jen played her) they wanted to see a black girl get beat.

By the way, I disagreed with Martina's statements and felt she should of aknowledged at least some truths. It's not like they are not obvious. Martina probably didn't feel it was racism, maybe she is just not aware. becasue she isn't black or a women of color. Imho she clearly isn't the kind of person who would go out on a limb and tell it like it really is. Which is why Pam, MJ and Navratilova are not my favorite commentators.

Sep 8th, 2002, 09:49 AM
Venus was the favorite, that's why the crowd cheered against her against Momo. That is all there is to that. This is nothing new and to say that racism is the issue is absurd. I am not saying that racism doesn't exist on the tour but that was not the factor in the match against Momo.

Momo was the tenth seed. She was given very little chance against Venus since she had never defeated her before. Against Jennifer, I'm sure all the crowd was aware that she has been slumping and more specifically that she had not defeated Momo in a while. Not only that, she hadn't take a set off of Momo in a while. Amelie had kicked her ass of late, so of course the crowd was for her. Amelie, IMO, despite the ranking difference, was the favorite in that match. Let's see had crushed Cap at Wimby, won the Canadian over Cap and had defeated Clijsters. HELLO!!! Momo was on a roll. I think that going into the event. Momo (and Lindsey, and maybe Chanda) were the only players given any shot at taking down the sisters. And what do you know? That's how it turned out!

Martina seems to always forget that '81 US Open Final against Austin, the all-American Apple Pie Tracy, wherein the crowd was almost 100% Navratilova versus America's sweethearst Tracy! Why? Because Tracy was the favorite. Sorry folks, but that's how the U.S. crowd works.

Why? Because the U.S. has always had so many good players! Maybe if we were like the Brits and had no top player in the top 100 (ladies only) we would be a little bit more supportive and patriotic, but the fact remains that this year at the Open 5 of the top 6 seeds were American. That's just how it goes, and we can't compare it to any other country because no other country has ever had the consistent depth of talent on both the male and female sides like the U.S. especially for such a long time.

Racisim? Pshaw!

Sep 8th, 2002, 10:07 AM
if youn root ALWAYS for your players (as we italians do) you're pathetic and nationalistic, if you don't you're racist or irreverent or too underdog-oriented!
What a hard task is being a tennis fan!

Sep 8th, 2002, 10:20 AM
It never happens in europe? ask mary pierce :rolleyes:

Sep 8th, 2002, 10:21 AM
or even when martina played venus in zurich 99 the crowd was pretty hostile towards martina in my opinion!

Sep 8th, 2002, 10:43 AM
Really irma I didn't know Hingis had a hard time in that match, you would think the crowd would be behind her.

BTW Irma you have to edit your signature :)

Sep 8th, 2002, 11:00 AM
It's never about racism in America. It's just millions of black and white people having paranoid delusions who simply don't understand that "we" (meaning the Americans) always pull for for the "underdog." Yeah. Right

Sep 8th, 2002, 11:11 AM
And your accusations are based on what Dawn Marie? Other than Indian Wells neither sister has gotten worse treatment than past champs. Ask cute blonde Chris Evert who the American crowd cheered for in HER finals of 1975 to 1982. In EVERY final except one she played a foreigner and in all those finals the crowd was solidly behind. Guess it was an era of blondism :rolleyes:

And if what you say is true-how do explain all the endorsements they get, which by the way Martina never got?

A final thought: Racism undoubtedly exists. It is SERIOUS. But those who throw the word around left and right are helping to make the word almost trivial. It's like the boy who cried "wolf" one too many times. If you want the world to take it as the serious isssue it is thern treat it that way. Otherwise a lot of people who are real victims will be met by a chorus of disbelief in the future.

Sep 8th, 2002, 11:36 AM
A lot of people who are "real victims of racism" are ALREADY met by a chorus of disbelief in the present (as many were in the past). But it's certainly not because of people who "threw the word around left and right" or "cried/cry wolf." Racism exists whether people say it does or doesn't, or even if some people misuse the word or not. The overwhelming majority of people who have to deal with it in reality (and believe it or not they number in the millions) are not dealing with the nuances of language and its various uses/misuses but something much more sinister, deadly, and destructive. It should also be noted that many people who have taken racism seriously in public (especially in the United States) have been (and continue to be) murdered, villified, beaten, jailed, exploited, patronized, and ridiculed. The very idea that racism won't be taken seriously or believed by a "lot of people" because certain people are "making the word trivial" is an idiotic notion that simply refuses to address what is real and "serious" about the "issue" in the first place. Talk about non sequiter reasoning! After all it's not linguistic fictions or rhetorical assertions that "victims of racism" are up against, but something far more oppressive, pervasive, persistent, and deadly. What would "endorsements" and their presence or absence possibly have to do with that?

Sep 9th, 2002, 02:15 AM

Dawn Marie
Sep 9th, 2002, 02:35 AM
Rollo please answer my question. Because you claim I made an ACCUSATION. HOW though when you clearly state racism exist? All I am saying is that Navratilova made a broad statement and didn't not tell it like it ENTIRELY is. If the media asked LAURIE MCNEIL or ZINA GARRISON OR EVEN AGASSI OR MAGGIE MALEEVA then the tennis world would of at least gotten a well rounded truthfull answer. Not some bullshit okey doke REPLY!!!

If you say Racism EXISTS and IT IS SERIOUS, then why do you think not at LEAST 10-20 people in that crowd booed Venus because of her skin color? Apparently Martina thinks not one person in the crowd booed Venus because of her skin color. because she claims it is not about racism. I say to Martina, get all dolled up, and come outside looking like a black women or women of color, then maybe she'll see the truth. She clearly knows Venus had been booed at for many years even before she won a slam.

She is insensitive to people of color who have/had experience racism becuase she stated it did not even exist. A bunch of baloney. The media asked Martina, because they knew she will not go against the grain. She plays both sides of the fence and will keep her mouth shut for her commentary job and other things she is working on. So the underdog theory and that bullshit Martina was refering too about them both being on a higher level will not work with me. So go on and keep living in your little dream world, but the fact still remain that RACISM exist, (you stated it yourself, but apparently is just automatically stops EXISTING when Venus is playing a white chic on the tennis courts. LMAO) Anyway some of those people in the crowd booed VENUS and cheered Momo ONLY because they did not want to see the black girl beat up on the white girl. Sorry if the truth makes you feel uncomfortable and you can't deal with that fact. But again you CLEARLY stated it yourself, by saying it EXIST. What do you people think, bias and racism just stops when Venus plays? LMAO

Dawn Marie
Sep 9th, 2002, 02:45 AM
Rollo, one more thing, I think it is insensitive to suggest that when people of color state how they see racism exisiting in this world, that people like you, Just brush their views off with the bullshit " throwing the word around reply", another person just making excuses for people who state facts. All I claimed is that racism in the crowds at the US Open existed, and Martina did not tell the truth. She "threw her lameo safe quotes around" cause she doesn't have the balls to say what it really is.

Sep 9th, 2002, 02:49 AM
I am not so hard on Martina. She bought up the race issue and what she said was "I don't think it was racism". To me that is alot more diplomatic than calling the paying public racist. As for Rollo's assertion that the word is used entirely too often and the hint that White folks will get tired of hearing it and dilute it's meaning. My answer is this, if White folks are tired of hearing, imagine how tired individuals are of suffering from it. That is why I will always support the Sisters because there are too many Rollo's who will always be there to look the other way. :cool:

Dawn Marie
Sep 9th, 2002, 02:58 AM
Yeah well I am tired of diplomatic, I want people to stop bullshitting and tell it like it is. She played it safe. She had an oppurtunity to be real about it to the public. To people like me who know the real deal. If it were about sexism or sexual preference she would have stated the truth. She at the moment can kiss my foot.

I would of been so proud if she would of said the real truth. That it is a "little of both". Racism, and how good they are. She blew it by completly brusing it under the rug.

Sep 9th, 2002, 03:23 AM
I hear ya Dawn! And you know what? I ain't mad at ya. :kiss:

Sep 9th, 2002, 03:43 AM
As always, Dawn hit the nail on the head!! :)

you go girl!!

It wouldn't have hurt Martina to say it was a little of both: the underdog mentality and the race factor.

Sep 9th, 2002, 05:03 AM
Show me where Martina said racism doesnt exist. She was saying that in her opinion the crowd was supporting Mauresmo because they like the underdog. She didnt say anything about there not being a few people in the crowd who didnt like Venus because of her colour. There will always be people like that, and as a player who was discriminated against all her career because there will always tend to be people who dont cheer for gay people, it would have thought she would take that as given. It was her who brought the word up.
I think its just semantics here, people. When you speak of 'the crowd' you're generally referring to the whole group and not factions within it...well, thats my take on it anyway.

Sep 9th, 2002, 05:25 AM
Great posts by Rollo and JonBcn, someone had to counteract the aboslute horeshit that Dawn Maree is comign out with with some sense!!!

What did you want Martina to do Dawn, go through the whole crowd and list the reasons why they werent cheering for venus??

" okay the people in the front row are cheering for Amelie because venus once refused to sign an autograph for people they knew, the people in the 2nd row are cheering for Amelie because Venus pulled out of a tournament they had tickets to go and see, the people in the 3rd row are cheering for Amelie because they want the underdog to win, and finally the 10 people up the back are cheering for Amelie because Venus is black"....

Martina was talking about the majority of the crowd, the majority wanted the underdog to win, why give the handful of racist people so much publicity? Its what they want.

And you accusing Martina of being afraid to be outspoken, really does show how deluded you are, and just completely out of touch.

I could list 2 dozen quotes by Martina over the years that were very outspoken and 'tellin it like it is', but I cant be bothered tyrying to convince you, but you can accuse Martina of a lot of things Dawn, but being afraid to speak up isnt one of them.

But I forgot that she has to agree with you and have the same opinion as you in order for it to be a valid oppinion.

Dawn Marie
Sep 9th, 2002, 07:14 AM
Philbo, you missed the entire point, you Jon and Rollo.

Look the media is a sneaky stanky thing. Look who was asked about the crowd booing, and who wasn't. Why was Navritilova asked and not Brandy Williams? They asked a person with zero credibilty when it comes to honest and truthful racial discussions. Should have asked Chanda Rubin I bet she would have told the real story. Get real, Martina and Pammy both won't dare speak the truth because they know they will get the riot act read to them. I am still laughing at Pam Shriver saying their is no racism in tennis period. She stated that during an old hour long program about V@S. Pam, MJF and Martina right now are afraid to tell it like it really is. I do though applaud, Maggie, Andre and many others who are at least willing to speak the truth.

Sep 9th, 2002, 07:36 AM
I agree that Pam Shriver doesnt even have the right to make an assertion like there "is no racism in tennis"...how on earth could she know? From her own experiences? lol

But I think that to say Martina has zero credibility is a bit harsh - Martina has said what she thinks on countless occasions during her career. I honestly cant comment on her these days as we get European commentators, but doubt very much that she has any ulterior motives for playing down the crowds behaviour.

(btw, was the crowd actually booing Venus :eek:? I was busy during the match and couldnt concentrate on it; I didnt realise it was that bad)

Crazy Canuck
Sep 9th, 2002, 07:47 AM
Martina was talking about the majority of the crowd, the majority wanted the underdog to win, why give the handful of racist people so much publicity? Its what they want.

Nicely said. Racism should not go ignored, but a quick read in here would make one think that 95% of the crowd were racist bastards.

Crazy Canuck
Sep 9th, 2002, 07:51 AM
I also want to add my own experience from New York this year :)

I watched Serena's first round match against Corina. The latter half of it anyhow. I was sitting in the upper deck of seating, where most everyone else sits ;) You know, the area of the stadium so high up that you can't see the ball :D ;)

Anyhow, Serena was playing Corina, just a few months back from remission. Most of the people immediately around me were pro Serena and rooting for her, despite being glad Corina was back. The people around be were various ages and from various backgrounds.

I saw no signs of nasty behavior around me, or it would have upset me and I would have certaintly noticed.

Sep 9th, 2002, 08:07 AM
Jon - No, no-one actually booed Venus, they were jsut pro-Mauresmo...

Dawn - Why was Martina asked? Derrrrrrr... She was in the commentary booth with Pam hving a discussion, if Brandy Williams was there in the booth, she'd have got to have her say. It was nothing 'sneaky'...then again, when you live life in a paranoid state a la Dawn, Im sure you can read anythign into everything!

Sep 9th, 2002, 08:08 AM
I don't think every fan that cheers against Venus and Serena are doing so because of race but I'm also not naive enough to believe that people aren't cheering against them because of their race either. I think it is a combination of things.

I think some people are against them because they beat their favorites all the time. Some are against them just because of the underdog factor and their aloofness. Some are against them because of their perceived arrogance and confidence in themselves and some are against them because of their father. But I also believe some of the fans are against them because of their race. I don't know what percentage is applied to any given situation but I know it isn't any one thing.

Sep 9th, 2002, 08:31 AM
deydreemyn - Great post, my point exactly, people dont cheer for them for a combination of the reasons you listed...

But Dawn and comapny are up in arms and crying foul because Martina didnt mention racism as one of the MAIN reasons venus didnt have a lot of support...Martina mentioned the main reason, how happy would you have been if she listed off all the various reasons people dont cheer for them? Youd be be crying bigtime!!!