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View Full Version : Pioneering black women to honor Althea Gibson in ceremony at US Open


raquel
Aug 14th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Nice idea :)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/tennis/08/14/bc.ten.usopen.gibson.ap/

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Aretha Franklin, Carol Moseley Braun and other pioneering black women will come together on the U.S. Open's opening night to celebrate the legacy of late tennis star Althea Gibson.
The USTA is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gibson's historic title at the U.S. National Championships. In 1957, she became the first black tennis player, male or female, to win the tournament, which became the Open.

Gibson will also be inducted into the U.S. Open Court of Champions, based on the result of an international media vote, during the Aug. 27 ceremony.

Titled "Breaking Barriers," the tribute to Gibson will feature trailblazers in the worlds of sports, entertainment, politics and the arts. Franklin, the first black woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will perform.
Among the other women scheduled to participate are Joyner-Kersee, the Olympic track and field champion; Braun, the former U.S. Senator; Phylicia Rashad, the "Cosby Show" actress; former WNBA star Cynthia Cooper; Winter Olympians Vonetta Flowers and Debi Thomas; tennis player Zina Garrison; astronaut Mae Jemison; and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Billie Jean King and Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson's widow, are also expected to attend.

Gibson broke the color barrier in tennis in 1950 and went on to win 11 Grand Slam titles. She died in 2003 at the age of 76.

darrinbaker00
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:09 PM
The USTA honored Arthur Ashe by naming their new stadium after him.....four years after he died. The USTA is honoring Althea Gibson's historic win at Forest Hills.....four years after she died. The USTA honored Billie Jean King by renaming the National Tennis Center after her.....while she's still alive. I don't think that's a coincidence, but if I say what it REALLY is, I'll be accused of playing a certain card.

Pureracket
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:10 PM
Play it! Play it!

Stamp Paid
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Surely Venus and Serena will be participating...?

raquel
Aug 14th, 2007, 10:25 PM
The USTA honored Arthur Ashe by naming their new stadium after him.....four years after he died. The USTA is honoring Althea Gibson's historic win at Forest Hills.....four years after she died. The USTA honored Billie Jean King by renaming the National Tennis Center after her.....while she's still alive. I don't think that's a coincidence, but if I say what it REALLY is, I'll be accused of playing a certain card.I'm pretty sure that the Arthur Ashe stadium wasn't there when he was alive so naming it after him after he died was the only way. Althea being honored is long overdue, though.

darrinbaker00
Aug 15th, 2007, 03:40 AM
I'm pretty sure that the Arthur Ashe stadium wasn't there when he was alive so naming it after him after he died was the only way. Althea being honored is long overdue, though.
How about the Arthur Ashe USTA National Tennis Center? How about the Althea Gibson Grandstand Court? The USTA should have done something while they were alive. Period.

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:10 AM
11 Grand Slam Titles! :yeah: :bigclap:

and some of these biotches today think they special. :rolleyes:

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:12 AM
How about the Arthur Ashe USTA National Tennis Center? How about the Althea Gibson Grandstand Court? The USTA should have done something while they were alive. Period.


the usta can't even get itself together enough to grow the sport in this country, particularly among people outside of the countryclub box. while it would have been nice to see that, can't say it is shocking.

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:22 AM
www.altheagibson.com

Her Bio -

Born August 25, 1927 in Silver, SC, A right-hander, grew up in Harlem. Her family
was poor, but she was fortunate in coming to the attention of Dr. Walter Johnson,
a Lynchburg VA physician who was active in the black tennis community. He became
her patron as he would later for Arthur Ashe, the black champion at Forest Hills
(1968) and Wimbledon (1975). Through Dr. Johnson, Gibson received better instruction
and competition, and contacts were set up with the USTA to inject her into the
recognized tennis scene.

A trailblazing athlete who become the first African American to win championships at Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Doubles and the United States Open in the late 1950s. Gibson had a scintillating amateur career in spite of segregated offerings earlier in the decade.

She won 56 singles and doubles titles during her amateur career in the 1950s before gaining international and national acclaim for her athletic prowess on the professional level in tennis.

Gibson won 11 major titles in the late 1950s, including singles titles at the French Open (1956), Wimbledon (1957, 1958) and the U. S. Open (1957, 1958), as well as three straight doubles crowns at the French Open (1956, 1957, 1958).

In 1957, she was the first black to be voted by the Associated Press as it Female Athlete of the Year. She won the honor again in 1958. After winning her second U.S. Championship, she turned professional. One year she earned a reported $100,000 in conjunction with playing a series of matches before Harlem Globetrotter basketball games.

There was no professional tennis tour in those days, so Gibson turned to the pro golf tour for a few years, but she didn't distinguish herself. She tried playing a few events after open tennis started in 1968, but she was in here 40's and too old to beat her younger opponents. She worked as a tennis teaching pro after she stopped competing.

She became New Jersey State Commissioner of Athletics in 1975, a post she held for 10 years. She then served on the State's Athletics Control Board until 1988 and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness until 1992. On September 28, 2003 at the age of 76, Althea Gibson died in East Orange General Hospital.

The title of her autobiography, written in 1958, is "I Always Wanted to Be Somebody." To tennis fans, she always will be somebody very special. Though she didn't go looking for the role of pioneer, she was one. "If it hadn't been for her," says Billie Jean King, winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, "it wouldn't have been so easy for Arthur (Ashe) or the ones who followed."

Slam Record

1957-1958
Wimbledon Singles Championship

1956-1958
Wimbledon Doubles Championship

1956-1958
Wimbledon Mixed-Doubles Finalist

1957-1958
USLTA Singles Championship

1957
USLTA Mixed-Doubles Championship

1957-1958
USLTA Doubles Finalist

1957-1958
USLTA Singles Championship

1957
Australian Doubles Championship

1957
Australian Singles Finalist

1956
French Singles Championship

1956
French Doubles Championship

Brian Stewart
Aug 15th, 2007, 07:36 AM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.

Brian Stewart
Aug 15th, 2007, 08:03 AM
But to return to honoring Althea, she also has a few more marks, according to my rough calculations. In the 1956 season, she won 23 tournaments (besting the official 21 shared by King and Court), and at least matched King's record for singles wins in a season (I think King's mark is 110, but don't have my stats handy). And she might have won Wimbledon and/or the US Nationals that same year, but she wore herself to a frazzle. She literally played every week up through Wimbledon, and was "flying on fumes" when she got to the All England Club.

As a fan, one has to lament the possibilities we missed out on. If Gibson had been allowed into the system sooner, and subsequently developed her game to championship level sooner, and had Connolly not been injured, and wanted to play longer, what clashes they might have had. And had there been Open tennis, those two could have hung around to play Bueno, Smith, King and Wade. Add in the Brits Mortimer, Haydon, Truman, and the delightful Ramirez and Reyes, what an era of tennis it could have been.

Another facet of Althea's career which is often overlooked is that she in generally credited with ushering in the serve/volley era in womens tennis. There were serve/volley players before her, but her relentless attacking, perhaps combined with her uniqueness bringing it to the public conscious and expanding media (including television) made it more popular. Thus, came the era of Bueno, Smith, king, Wade, et al. In a way, we saw something similar with the 2-handed backhand. There were several 2-handers before the mid-70's, primarily among the men. But with the tennis boom giving them exposure, the successes of Borg, Connors, and Evert popularized the stroke.

Anyhow, a long overdue tribute to Althea. Let's hope it's thorough, and let's hope it gets the coverage and respect it deserves from the media.

jrollaneres25
Aug 15th, 2007, 09:22 AM
But to return to honoring Althea, she also has a few more marks, according to my rough calculations. In the 1956 season, she won 23 tournaments (besting the official 21 shared by King and Court), and at least matched King's record for singles wins in a season (I think King's mark is 110, but don't have my stats handy). And she might have won Wimbledon and/or the US Nationals that same year, but she wore herself to a frazzle. She literally played every week up through Wimbledon, and was "flying on fumes" when she got to the All England Club.

As a fan, one has to lament the possibilities we missed out on. If Gibson had been allowed into the system sooner, and subsequently developed her game to championship level sooner, and had Connolly not been injured, and wanted to play longer, what clashes they might have had. And had there been Open tennis, those two could have hung around to play Bueno, Smith, King and Wade. Add in the Brits Mortimer, Haydon, Truman, and the delightful Ramirez and Reyes, what an era of tennis it could have been.

Another facet of Althea's career which is often overlooked is that she in generally credited with ushering in the serve/volley era in womens tennis. There were serve/volley players before her, but her relentless attacking, perhaps combined with her uniqueness bringing it to the public conscious and expanding media (including television) made it more popular. Thus, came the era of Bueno, Smith, king, Wade, et al. In a way, we saw something similar with the 2-handed backhand. There were several 2-handers before the mid-70's, primarily among the men. But with the tennis boom giving them exposure, the successes of Borg, Connors, and Evert popularized the stroke.

Anyhow, a long overdue tribute to Althea. Let's hope it's thorough, and let's hope it gets the coverage and respect it deserves from the media.


WOW:eek:

Well, well put Brian. I totally agree. Chanda should get waaaaaay more credit. Even Lindsay Davenport, having grown with her through juniors and the pro-circuit knew how well and dangerous Chanda was. By the way, did she finally retire?

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network".

:haha:

I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

:worship:

alfajeffster
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:00 PM
...Another facet of Althea's career which is often overlooked is that she in generally credited with ushering in the serve/volley era in womens tennis. There were serve/volley players before her, but her relentless attacking, perhaps combined with her uniqueness bringing it to the public conscious and expanding media (including television) made it more popular. Thus, came the era of Bueno, Smith, king, Wade, et al...

I'll have to politely disagree with you on that one, Brian. Alice Marble is generally credited with ushering in the serve-and-volley style of play for women, and she was quite successful and pioneering with the effort. She inspired and basically spawned several great net rushers both pre and post WWII, including Margaret Osborne duPont, Louise Brough, Sarah Palfrey Danzig, and Doris Hart, among many others of the era (an era which, by the way, Althea Gibson came from). A few years ago I had the great fortune to have interviewed Pauline Betz Addie, and when asked about the game and career of Althea Gibson, her candid remarks were that "she didn't have to play anybody", "she had no backhand whatsoever", and "Doris Hart never lost a match to her, and they played many times". Several years after she retired, Pauline (a speedy baseline retreiver with a wicked backhand by trade) actually beat Althea a couple of times during a series of exhibitions they played, and Pauline was a good 10 years Althea's senior. By most accounts, Althea had a really great serve, and blanketed the net like nobody's business, but was by no means a complete tennis player the caliber of Court, King or Bueno.

All of this is not to say that she wasn't a great player, as she clearly was, and played who she had to play when she was allowed to play. Her decision to turn professional at the end of the 50s was out of necessity (the amateur circuit didn't pay the bills) rather than choice, and she even dabbled in a singing career as well as professional golf for a while. I'd also like to point out that she really didn't give a whole lot back to the United States Lawn Tennis Association, and even less to the USTA. Harsh words? Probably. Realistic? Yes. When you compare what Billie Jean King has given back to the further of the game of tennis in the United States (and the world for that matter), the naming of the Billie Jean National Tennis Center or Arthur Ashe Stadium actually seems justifiable. The really weird thing (again, I love everything about him, but did he even play tennis?) is why Louis Armstrong got the nod years ago.

All that said, I am really looking forward to watching the ceremony, and am glad the USTA is celebrating the accomplishments and greatness of Althea Gibson. I know I have her autograph in my collection, and I very much treasure it.

David55
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Oh, I get it. The conservative tennis establishment hates blacks, but they love feminist lesbians who push for diversity. :lol:
At any rate, it's good to see Gibson honored. :worship:

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:30 PM
I'll have to politely disagree with you on that one, Brian. Alice Marble is generally credited with ushering in the serve-and-volley style of play for women, and she was quite successful and pioneering with the effort. She inspired and basically spawned several great net rushers both pre and post WWII, including Margaret Osborne duPont, Louise Brough, Sarah Palfrey Danzig, and Doris Hart, among many others of the era (an era which, by the way, Althea Gibson came from). A few years ago I had the great fortune to have interviewed Pauline Betz Addie, and when asked about the game and career of Althea Gibson, her candid remarks were that "she didn't have to play anybody", "she had no backhand whatsoever", and "Doris Hart never lost a match to her, and they played many times". Several years after she retired, Pauline (a speedy baseline retreiver with a wicked backhand by trade) actually beat Althea a couple of times during a series of exhibitions they played, and Pauline was a good 10 years Althea's senior. By most accounts, Althea had a really great serve, and blanketed the net like nobody's business, but was by no means a complete tennis player the caliber of Court, King or Bueno.

All of this is not to say that she wasn't a great player, as she clearly was, and played who she had to play when she was allowed to play. Her decision to turn professional at the end of the 50s was out of necessity (the amateur circuit didn't pay the bills) rather than choice, and she even dabbled in a singing career as well as professional golf for a while. I'd also like to point out that she really didn't give a whole lot back to the United States Lawn Tennis Association, and even less to the USTA. Harsh words? Probably. Realistic? Yes. When you compare what Billie Jean King has given back to the further of the game of tennis in the United States (and the world for that matter), the naming of the Billie Jean National Tennis Center or Arthur Ashe Stadium actually seems justifiable. The really weird thing (again, I love everything about him, but did he even play tennis?) is why Louis Armstrong got the nod years ago.

All that said, I am really looking forward to watching the ceremony, and am glad the USTA is celebrating the accomplishments and greatness of Althea Gibson. I know I have her autograph in my collection, and I very much treasure it.

yes, that is what you and the other players you "interviewed" were trying to say.

BuTtErFrEnA
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:35 PM
I'd also like to point out that she really didn't give a whole lot back to the United States Lawn Tennis Association, and even less to the USTA. Harsh words? Probably. Realistic? Yes. When you compare what Billie Jean King has given back to the further of the game of tennis in the United States (and the world for that matter), the naming of the Billie Jean National Tennis Center

:bs: why should she be forced to give back to people who didn't give to her or at least willingly....so she has to give back to the USTA in order to receive recognition? then why honour her then....she hasn't given back anything...why not give BJK everything and Evert everything....Gibson did the USTA the biggest favour of all freely and that was to give them the Williams sisters who now influence other African Americans to play tennis and if they didn't have the sisters now US tennis would be in the tubes so just because she didn't give monetarily doesn't mean she didn't do anything....money can only go so far....money does not give people a willing interest in the sport cause it can be made easily elsewhere....it is people like Althea who can influence a whole generation after her that will make US tennis better and not pouring lots and lots of money into an organisation still hell bent on targeting whites primarily and have the "requisite" black person so as not to seem racist and equal.

BuTtErFrEnA
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:37 PM
btw....lets see what happens to US tennis after the sisters and Davenport are gone....with all that BJK has given back oh so generously where are the rising stars that only money can buy?

The Dawntreader
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Awesome news, Althea was such a pioneer and a spearhead for knocking down racial barriers in tennis, and in other sports( she became a pro golfer after her tennis career).

Absolutely wonderful sentiment this will be for a true tennis legend:worship:

Realtennis
Aug 15th, 2007, 01:45 PM
:bs: why should she be forced to give back to people who didn't give to her or at least willingly....so she has to give back to the USTA in order to receive recognition? then why honour her then....she hasn't given back anything...why not give BJK everything and Evert everything....Gibson did the USTA the biggest favour of all freely and that was to give them the Williams sisters who now influence other African Americans to play tennis and if they didn't have the sisters now US tennis would be in the tubes so just because she didn't give monetarily doesn't mean she didn't do anything....money can only go so far....money does not give people a willing interest in the sport cause it can be made easily elsewhere....it is people like Althea who can influence a whole generation after her that will make US tennis better and not pouring lots and lots of money into an organisation still hell bent on targeting whites primarily and have the "requisite" black person so as not to seem racist and equal.
Give me a break!
She wasn't interested in whether other black players got a chance in the future or not..........could care less.
Just like the self - centered "sisters" themselves.

Bijoux0021
Aug 15th, 2007, 02:13 PM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Great post!

serenaforever
Aug 15th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Very well argued:worship:

I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.

BuTtErFrEnA
Aug 15th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Give me a break!
She wasn't interested in whether other black players got a chance in the future or not..........could care less.
Just like the self - centered "sisters" themselves.

Get real!! you would love to believe they are self-centered....but tell me what BJK does that does not involve her getting more recognition?? with all that she does for US tennis where are the next Ana's and Sharapova's and Jankovic's for the US?? then tell me who Vaidisova and Krajicek (all foreigners which does more for the WTA not just US alone) said they looked up to and who Jackson and Vania King and Perry said they looked up to as tennis idols?

BuTtErFrEnA
Aug 15th, 2007, 02:21 PM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.

:worship: :worship: should have done this earlier....i gave you a goodrep ;)

Asaph
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Excuse me but the sisters, Venus and Serena Williams (they do have names) have been all over this country and done trips to Africa and given clinics in England among various groups promoting tennis. They have visited many inner city kids promoting tennis and giving clinics. Yet through your racists eyes don't know what you are talking about. Further, why come into this thread since you hate black people so much.

Also, an interview w/ a white player 10 years older than Althea Gibson disparaging her game and you take that as gospel? Yeah, that woman is as biased as the day is long. Of course, all she was going to say was denigrate Ms. Gibson. Ms. Gibson is known for her serve and volley play. Brian is not saying she invented it. He is saying she took it to another level w/ her aggressive style.

Furthermore, so what if one player of her time had her number. There are a lot of people who were top players that one person would match very well against them in their game. That does not diminish their accomplishments which is what you are trying to do. The woman did a lot considering what she had to go through which you would not have any idea of how difficult that was. Althea Gibson deserves this honor because she earned it through her own hard work and perseverance and not because people like you out of your "goodness" decide to throw her a crumb ("All of this is not to say that she wasn't a great player, as she clearly was, and played who she had to play when she was allowed to play") you can take this condescending BS remark and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Althea Gibson was a great athlete, person and American. It surprises me she was not more bitter as to her treatment and spending her remaining years in poverty which would have never happened to a white athlete that had accomplished what Ms. Gibson did. She deserved better but unfortunately was not born in a time that may have appreciated her talents. Obviously that time still is not here. It is better as Venus said but it is not what it should be.

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:51 PM
I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?"
1. I don't believe for a second that you had a discussion with Wertheim.
2. Gimelstob and Goldstein have a penis, the other four do not.

Gosh, I can't believe people here are still worshipping your tired rehashed routines you've been c/p'ing for 8 years now.

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:53 PM
Oh, I get it. The conservative tennis establishment hates blacks, but they love feminist lesbians who push for diversity. :lol:
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 04:57 PM
1. I don't believe for a second that you had a discussion with Wertheim.

did he say it was face to face? a convo can totally happen without it being face to face.

serenafan08
Aug 15th, 2007, 05:34 PM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.

You better preach, Brian! I would goodrep you, but I have to spread some around first. :rolleyes:

I think it's great to have other pioneering black women coming to this event; Jackie Joyner-Kersee is one of my heroes. :worship: I agree with you though Brian...it would have been nice to honor her while she was still alive. Why couldn't they have done it after Serena won the Open in '99? Or when she and Venus played in the '01 final in prime time? It's clear that she opened the door for them, and they would have been happy to honor her that way. It's really sad that race is still an issue in the sport today, and the fact that Maria Sharapova, who is Russian, gets more exposure than our own players is quite embarrassing. It's because white America still dominates the upper echelon of the media and sports entertainment, and they'll market whoever is more benifitial to them instead of the players who benefits the sport itself. Althea wouldn't be happy if she was still alive, and neither would Arthur. That's not what they fought for.

kiwifan
Aug 15th, 2007, 05:41 PM
Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network".

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

You're on fire!!! :worship:

kiwifan
Aug 15th, 2007, 05:51 PM
1. I don't believe for a second that you had a discussion with Wertheim.
2. Gimelstob and Goldstein have a penis, the other four do not.

Gosh, I can't believe people here are still worshipping your tired rehashed routines you've been c/p'ing for 8 years now.

I've exchanged plenty of emails with CNN sports reporters that have a lot more clout than Wertheim. :shrug:

Usually if you make a good point to the contrary any reporter who isn't completely full of himself will happily debate you or further explain his point.

Arguing about sports is friggin' fun. :devil:

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 05:56 PM
You're on fire!!! :worship:

Now he's not, because these are very poor "jokes".

Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson - if these are the black women they are supposed to show then, well ... they all suck and are likely to go out in 1r. They put Stevenson on Grandstand a few years ago and she lost. Jackson and Perry can't win matches and are out of top 100, Washington is injured.
So what's his point? Maybe that they sometimes put mediocre/bad US men on TV (Gimelstob), but not mediocre/bad US Women. Are they showing Granville on TV? No. Has nothing to do with race.

And yeah, there are no black announcers. Is it a surprise? There have been very few African-American players in the past. The only good ones I remember right now are Malivai Washington, Lori McNeil and Zina herself. Why aren't they hired? Maybe they aren't interested.
Yes, tennis has always been a mainly white sport. For whatever reason. But you can't change that fact. So why should there be black announcers? Very unlikely, if only for historic reasons. With few black people interested in the sport, it's unlikely a black person becomes a tennis announcer, except for former players. It might change in the next years, who knows?

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 05:57 PM
I've exchanged plenty of emails with CNN sports reporters that have a lot more clout than Wertheim. :shrug:

Usually if you make a good point to the contrary any reporter who isn't completely full of himself will happily debate you or further explain his point.

Arguing about sports is friggin' fun. :devil:
That might well be, but Brian is only wording it that way to further inflate his pompous self and ego. He's been doing it for ages and it's very easy to see through it.

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:09 PM
That might well be, but Brian is only wording it that way to further inflate his pompous self and ego. He's been doing it for ages and it's very easy to see through it.

i don't know brian and you could be right (i'll give you that) but you also sound totally jealous that a lot of ppl liked his post. it's so not hard for ppl to get that impression about what you wrote on this topic. :wavey:

alfajeffster
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:11 PM
yes, that is what you and the other players you "interviewed" were trying to say.

Actually, I think what was being suggested is that her tennis abilities have been over-hyped. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a pure and simple concept that often goes unseen and overlooked through whatever particular pair of spectacles one is looking through. In reality, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the person- just the tennis. There are many (if not most) great champions who were not capable of mastering all the aspects of the game of tennis, much less play an all-court game. It doesn't mean they are any less great. What would any athletic endeavor be without specialists? No one tennis player is immune to being held up to the game itself. It transcends every single person who has ever struck a tennis ball.

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:16 PM
i don't know brian and you could be right (i'll give you that) but you also sound totally jealous that a lot of ppl liked his post. it's so not hard for ppl to get that impression about what you wrote on this topic. :wavey:
Jealous of "Brian Stewart"? LOL.

But yeah, it annoys me that people like his posts for no other reason that they are long, eloquently written and sharing the same sentiment.
It's like "wow, that sounds smart and he agrees with me so I must be right about this, yay me".

But none of these worshippers ever takes a closer look at his reasoning which is usually without substance.

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Jealous of "Brian Stewart"? LOL.

But yeah, it annoys me that people like his posts for no other reason that they are long, eloquently written and sharing the same sentiment.
It's like "wow, that sounds smart and he agrees with me so I must be right about this, yay me".

But none of these worshippers ever takes a closer look at his reasoning which is usually without substance.

i only liked what he wrote cause it was sth that i didn't think about but when i read it i :lol: cause to me it was true. it didn't make me feel any smarter agreeing with what he said tho'. what he wrote was just funny to me. :shrug:

*JR*
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM
A number of interesting points ITT. Darrin, "half a loaf". Althea is indeed a historic figure with 11 Slams, and began her career while Jackie Robinson was one of a handful of MLB players. They should have honored her achievement long ago, maybe on its 25th anniversary in 1982. But Arthur Ashe only won 2 in his career, and was merely a very good player, not a great one. Its possible that he was honored with the stadium name partly for his political activism (like fighting apartheid in South Africa) and partly as an AIDS victim.

David55 makes a good point that BJK as an out lesbian isn't the stereotypical honoree for the whole facility 2B named for.

Brian is thorough as usual, but Chanda (who I greatly admire for her work with juniors in the south often neglected by "the tennis establishment") has had a career greatly reduced in impact by the 7 knee surgeries, etc. Sorry, but talented athletes of all races don't become famous because injuries messed up their careers.

Kiwi is correct that journalists (in a lot of fields) answer emails, etc. that raise interesting points (in agreement or disagreement). The assumption that anyone we've heard of is unapproachable is an unwarranted assumption made by many who don't realize that "they also put their pants on one leg @ a time".

One more point about Ashe: he somewhat got a free pass for the very sexist statement that "women's tennis wouldn't draw flies", perhaps because he'd suffered discrimination himself. (J-Mac was roundly roasted when he said sexist things though).

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:26 PM
i only liked what he wrote cause it was sth that i didn't think about but when i read it i :lol: cause to me it was true. it didn't make me feel any smarter agreeing with what he said tho'. what he wrote was just funny to me. :shrug:
Well he IS right. There are rarely African-American tennis players on TV, and there are no black announcers.

But what does that prove? Very little, and nothing which is related to the topic of this thread, as I explained above.

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:28 PM
Well he IS right. There are rarely African-American tennis players on TV, and there are no black announcers.

But what does that prove? Very little, and nothing which is related to the topic of this thread, as I explained above.

okay, i see. gotcha! :yeah:

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Actually, I think what was being suggested is that her tennis abilities have been over-hyped. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a pure and simple concept that often goes unseen and overlooked through whatever particular pair of spectacles one is looking through. In reality, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the person- just the tennis. There are many (if not most) great champions who were not capable of mastering all the aspects of the game of tennis, much less play an all-court game. It doesn't mean they are any less great. What would any athletic endeavor be without specialists? No one tennis player is immune to being held up to the game itself. It transcends every single person who has ever struck a tennis ball.

basically, they were trying to denigrate her skills and say, well she's not really that good - she didn't beat me. she has 11 slams titles plus tons of other victories that speak to the quality of her game. these can't be argued with. but then, some people love to argue facts, even when they are irrefutable.

why bother to try to cast a shadow over her record or her achievements if you're not trying to knock her down a notch? makes no sense. it's like you (they) are trying to put caveats or asterisks besides her accomplishments.

what you wrote about what they were alleged to have said was nothing more than a passive agressive move make althea look like a poser someone who didn't deserve or earn her place in tennis history.

Marcell
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:34 PM
USTA Umpire Modernization Plan
September 14th, 2006

Did you happen to notice something new and different at the U.S. Open this year? Women chaired a good share of the men’s matches, and Carlos Bernardes — a black umpire — chaired the men’s final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, for one, this was the first time a black umpire has chaired the men’s finals since the 1970s. For two, it wasn’t just part of some sweeping gesture by the USTA.


The New York Attorney General’s Office and the USTA announced an agreement today that will cause the Association to increase the number of female and minority chair umpires at its tournaments (full report in pdf). The agreement signals the end of an investigation by NYAG Elliot Spitzer’s office into allegations that the USTA has engaged in gender, race, and age discrimination against its umpires.

The investigation was a result of complaints the AG’s Office received from USTA workers, and took over a year to complete. It included interviews with USTA staff members and contractors, and primarily focused on the U.S. Open and the USTA’s treatment of chair umpires.

The investigation stems from a complaint filed by two African American former Chair Umpires, Cecil Hollins and Sande French, who jointly sued the USTA and the ITF alleging race and gender discrimination. Less than 1 percent of the 2,000 umpires certified by professional tennis’ ruling bodies are African American. Hollins, an administrative law judge with the housing agency in New York state, is the only African American among 30 Gold Badge tennis umpires in the world.





In the suit, Hollins alleged that the USTA terminated him in 2003 because he began to question why the organization failed to put blacks and women in the umpire’s chair of important men’s matches. For example, no black man or woman had ever umpired a U.S. Open men’s semifinal or final. Hollins and French additionally alleged in their lawsuit that:

* The USTA has never allowed women to officiate the top men’s matches of the U.S. Open as a chair umpire.

* The USTA has never permitted a minority American male to chair the Men’s U.S. Open Final.

* The USTA has never resolved race concerns of workers, including when a groundskeeper allegedly called Hollins and a fellow black line umpire “n- - - -s” as they hit balls during downtime at the 1998 Open.

* The USTA retaliated against Hollins and French after they complained to the organization about discrimination.


Hollins and French’s suit exploited the Achilles Heal of the Association. The USTA had no diversity program prior to 2004, when friend and tennis gold medalist Zina Garrison phoned Karlyn Lothery to recruit her into launching a formal diversity program. This move was a follow-up to a Diversity Plan approved by the Association’s Board of Directors for 2003-2005 (pdf).
Beyond numerous stories in the press, Hollins’ and French’s complaints also caught the attention of several civil rights and women’s rights groups, including the New York chapters of the NAACP and the National Organization for Women (NOW). In addition, five Members of Congress from New York complained to the USTA, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who sent a letter to USTA Executive Director D. Lee Hamilton last March, demanding to know whether any black men had ever umpired a U.S. Open men’s or women’s final and whether any women have umpired a U.S. Open men’s match beyond the second round.

The Attorney General’s review of umpire assignments in recent years revealed a pattern of gender disparities. The investigation found that at the U.S. Open from 2003 to 2005 female umpires chaired about half of the women’s main draw matches, but only a small fraction of the men’s main draw matches. No female umpire was ever assigned to chair a later round men’s match, while male umpires were assigned to chair 20 later-round women’s matches. The investigation also showed that very few minority umpires had been selected to chair matches at the Open, especially the more prominent later-round matches.
The agreement requires the USTA to assign female chair umpires to men’s matches at the U.S. Open and other tournaments in numbers approximating their representation in the pool of qualified applicants. It also requires that all officials enjoy an equal opportunity to chair matches, receive training, and attain advanced certification, and that the USTA implement a national program to increase the number of female and minority umpires.

The agreement reached does not appear to cover age discrimination, which has been an additional problem with the Association. Maybe that’s the next one. The deal was reached in late August, but kept under wraps until the tournament was over and the confetti had landed. While the USTA should be commended for inclusivity and diversity in many of its community programs, it’s unfortunate that it took a law suit and an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of New York to do what they should have been doing all along.

Stamp Paid
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:37 PM
Actually, I think what was being suggested is that her tennis abilities have been over-hyped. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a pure and simple concept that often goes unseen and overlooked through whatever particular pair of spectacles one is looking through. In reality, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the person- just the tennis. There are many (if not most) great champions who were not capable of mastering all the aspects of the game of tennis, much less play an all-court game. It doesn't mean they are any less great. What would any athletic endeavor be without specialists? No one tennis player is immune to being held up to the game itself. It transcends every single person who has ever struck a tennis ball.

Ok, Althea was overhyped, whatever. Like you said, that doesn't undermine her accomplishments or her importance, not even a little. But what do the holes in Althea's game have to do with celebrating her importance, or her achievements (i.e. the point if the thread) at all? The diatribe about the incomplete nature of Althea's game seems a bit out of place and inappropriate, to say the least.

Or were you just using this thread as another forum to show all the teenagers on here how much you know about tennis?

Dawn Marie
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:37 PM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).

And I have to wonder how thorough their presentation will be? Anyone care to bet that if they mention the 1950 US Nationals was the first slam to allow a black participant, they'll "forget" to mention that the USLTA didn't want to do it, but was shamed into it by Alice Marble amongst others.

And I wonder if, since Zina is participating, they'll use that opportunity to give her another one year contract as Fed Cup captain. Even though Zina's been handicapped by frequent injuries to her top players, she's won as many championships as her Davis Cup counterpart, Patrick McEnroe (0), even though he has been fortunate enough to have his top players available virtually every time. In other words, she's been as successful in winning the championship without top players as he has with them. Not saying Zina's the greatest Cup captain of all time, but she's thus far been as good as P-Mac. So why does he get multi-year contracts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Zina should also invite all of the Af-Am players from the tour to show up at the event, and introduce them to the TV audience, and close with the zinger that "this is the only time you'll get to see black women not named Williams on USA network". I had a little discussion with Jon Wertheim about this, and he asked, "well, why should they show these players?", to which I answered, "if you're showcasing Americans, and you show players like Gimelstob and Goldstein, who have never been in the top 50, how can you justify not showing players like Jackson, Washington, Perry, Stevenson, etc., who have?" I mean, cripes, they need to have biblical rainfall and run out of matches before they'd even show Chanda, who's had multiple stints in the top 10.

I'd also like to see Zina say something like "I was going to invite the African-American announcers from USA and CBS to join us, but then I realized there weren't any." :devil:

Although I may be putting Zina on the spot a bit here. After all, she probably shares some of our feelings, but might not want to spoil a long-overdue tribute to Althea. She might not share my proclivity for stirring things up.

And I have to wonder, how much of the ceremony will USA actually show? They skimped on the BJK ceremony, so who wants to bet this one will get short shrift.


Brian, We get you and we love you! What a great post! Everything you written is so true and spot on!!! :bounce: Could you run for President? LOL

Another good rep coming your way! :worship: :worship: :wavey: :bounce: :bounce:

woosey
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:37 PM
Well he IS right. There are rarely African-American tennis players on TV, and there are no black announcers.

But what does that prove? Very little, and nothing which is related to the topic of this thread, as I explained above.

frankly, being a sports announcer of any kind is not/should not necessarily be dependent on whether you were a player.

look at bob costas. a lot of these people are nonathletes.

there are black announcers in baseball, golf, track/field. just as it wouldn't hurt if more commentators were women (of all colors), it wouldn't hurt if there were more black men and women. a black person could easily do what terry gannon does.

and the interesting thing is that the tennis channel had the most diversity of any tennis event i've ever seen - with chanda and katrina adams who happen to be former players. espn has issues with putting black folk on to do this.

poor malivai, who i believe had a degree in communications, was left roaming the stands while other morons were allowed to actually call a match.

darice
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Ok, Althea was overhyped, whatever. Like you said, that doesn't undermine her accomplishments or her importance, not even a little. But what do the holes in Althea's game have to do with celebrating her importance, or her achievements (i.e. the point if the thread) at all? The diatribe about the incomplete nature of Althea's game seems a bit out of place and inappropriate, to say the least.

Or were you just using this thread as another forum to show all the teenagers on here how much you know about tennis?

:haha:

i totally don't know the whole story but that was so funny!!! :bolt:

GoDominique
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:51 PM
frankly, being a sports announcer of any kind is not/should not necessarily be dependent on whether you were a player.

look at bob costas. a lot of these people are nonathletes.

there are black announcers in baseball, golf, track/field. just as it wouldn't hurt if more commentators were women (of all colors), it wouldn't hurt if there were more black men and women. a black person could easily do what terry gannon does.

and the interesting thing is that the tennis channel had the most diversity of any tennis event i've ever seen - with chanda and katrina adams who happen to be former players. espn has issues with putting black folk on to do this.

poor malivai, who i believe had a degree in communications, was left roaming the stands while other morons were allowed to actually call a match.
Good points.

But what you are saying shows that this is a complex issue. How many tennis announcers are there? How many black sports announcers are there? What's their connection to the sport they are announcing? Have former players been turned down by the TV stations?

It's just not right to use this issue (no black announcers) to make a point on alleged racism in form of a sarcasting statement implying discrimination without elaborating on it.

alfajeffster
Aug 15th, 2007, 10:41 PM
basically, they were trying to denigrate her skills and say, well she's not really that good - she didn't beat me. she has 11 slams titles plus tons of other victories that speak to the quality of her game. these can't be argued with. but then, some people love to argue facts, even when they are irrefutable.

why bother to try to cast a shadow over her record or her achievements if you're not trying to knock her down a notch? makes no sense. it's like you (they) are trying to put caveats or asterisks besides her accomplishments.

what you wrote about what they were alleged to have said was nothing more than a passive agressive move make althea look like a poser someone who didn't deserve or earn her place in tennis history.

What I wrote was in direct response to the suggestion that Althea Gibson somehow pioneered the serve-and-volley game, and in no way was an effort to place asterisks or blemishes on a great career (which, IMO, could've been much greater had she the opportunities that "open" professional tennis offered 10 years after she left the circuit). Pauline Betz Addie actually played Althea Gibson several times, and her assessment of Althea's game is pretty accurate, all things considered. You could also say that Yannick Noah had (arguably) the worst forehand on the men's tour in the 80s, but that doesn't make him any less a champion. Please take those dark glasses out of your ears. You'll be able to actually see what you hear, and read much better as a result.

alfajeffster
Aug 15th, 2007, 10:48 PM
Ok, Althea was overhyped, whatever. Like you said, that doesn't undermine her accomplishments or her importance, not even a little. But what do the holes in Althea's game have to do with celebrating her importance, or her achievements (i.e. the point if the thread) at all? The diatribe about the incomplete nature of Althea's game seems a bit out of place and inappropriate, to say the least.

Or were you just using this thread as another forum to show all the teenagers on here how much you know about tennis?

Actually, I was responding (which as usual amounts to a video game in GM, but I'm up for it) to the diatribe about Althea Gibson being some sort of serve-and-volley pioneer. Inappropriate? Not with regard to painting her tennis game in the fantastical. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am actively seeking more footage of Althea in action so I can study what little there is available of her in motion. It's worth it to keep an open mind about such things, don't you think?

raquel
Aug 15th, 2007, 11:20 PM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year


In fairness to Wimbledon, if they had a ceremony for every great player who had an anniversary of their first win there would be ceremonies every year. I think ceremonies like this are (a) more a regular event at the US Open than the other Slams and (b) something that happens at someone's home Slam. For example Althea's first Slam was at Roland Garros and they didn't have a ceremony for her 50 years anniversary in 2006, so why should Wimbledon in 2007? I would expect RG to have a ceremony for French players anniversaries and Wimbledon to have a ceremony for British player's anniversaries than for every great champion who happened to have won 50 years ago. This ceremony is nothing to do with an "in your face" to Wimbledon because Wimbledon doesn't really owe every champion a ceremony for every anniversary. It's just a deserved tribute to Althea and nothing more IMO.

pav
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:19 AM
Why do black people of note gather themselves together and identify with one another,fair enough if that is their want, but then set up a howling of outrage if people group them, or remark on them using their colour or race as a reference,when they themselves set the standard for this very behaviour?

I just love the old have your cake and eat it syndrome!

Donny
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:24 AM
Why do black people of note gather themselves together and identify with one another,fair enough if that is their want, but then set up a howling of outrage if people group them, or remark on them using their colour or race as a reference,when they themselves set the standard for this very behaviour?

I just love the old have your cake and eat it syndrome!

There's a difference between a minority group coming together to celebrate their uniqueness, and a majority group coming together to exclude others.

Vlover
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:58 AM
[QUOTE=alfajeffster;11422568]
I'd also like to point out that she really didn't give a whole lot back to the United States Lawn Tennis Association, and even less to the USTA. Harsh words? Probably.

From the sounds of it appears she gave back exactly what she got from them.:rolleyes: Actually it seems that all the US black players have as much obligation to give back to the USTA as much as Steffi Graf does.;)

darrinbaker00
Aug 16th, 2007, 02:53 AM
I wonder if the USTA's doing it because:

(a) it's the right thing to do

(b) they want to do a subtle "in your face" to Wimbledon, who failed to acknowledge a similar anniversary this year

(c) they're getting some heat for racist behavior in their system, and want to do a very public display to "disprove" it

They'll claim (a), but we know it's mostly (b) and (c).
I can't get mad at the All-England Club for not doing anything, Brian; after all, Miss Althea was a Yank, not a Brit.

mykarma
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:10 AM
Why do black people of note gather themselves together and identify with one another,fair enough if that is their want, but then set up a howling of outrage if people group them, or remark on them using their colour or race as a reference,when they themselves set the standard for this very behaviour?

I just love the old have your cake and eat it syndrome!
Please explain what you mean.

Brian Stewart
Aug 16th, 2007, 07:34 AM
Alfa, I think you misread my statement, re: Althea and the serve/volley game. I didn't say she pioneered the style. (If you've seen my other threads, you'll see I acknowledge Marble in this regard.) She was credited with ushering in a generation of serve/volleyers. To usher in an era, you don't have to pioneer a stroke, just have success with it. If the majority of the champions following you employ a similar tactic, you get recognized for ushering in that era. If you look at my original post, I draw comparisons to Borg, Connors, and Evert with regards to the 2-hander. None of them pioneered the stroke by a long ways, yet a lot of folks would tell you they certainly popularized it. And, if memory serves, King herself has said she became a serve/volleyer because she saw Gibson do it.

Or, going beyond groundstrokes, Martina Navratilova is credited with ushering in era of heavy fitness training (weights, etc.). Does making such a statement suggest she pioneered it? No. King did fitness training. Court's was legendary. But back then it was a few players. After Martina did it, and became dominant, it became widespread.

As to the other players' remarks about Althea's game, well it's hardly surprising. As many of the rank-and-file players of the era have mentioned, the top players were quite rude to this "interloper", and gave her the cold shoulder in the locker room. (Yet the media often twisted this by claiming it was Gibson who was "arrogant and aloof".) So it's not surprising they would disrespect her game. And it's also not surprising they haven't been taken to task for it. If Althea made those remarks, she'd be blasted. The Williamses have been lambasted for less, and accused of not giving their opponents "enough credit" (using similar language that is seen as candid from others.) As Alfa pointed out, many, indeed most, great players have some flaw in their game, even if it's only relative to their strengths. But you don't see other champions so quick to point out them out.

Re: communicating with famous writers, etc. as was pointed out in other replies, they are surprisingly approachable. I've had email exchanges with many folks inside and outside of tennis. Many of the folks at USA Today, and many of the members of the ITWA. Most amusing reply I got was from one guy who didn't want to agree with what I said to him, but couldn't find any holes in my argument, so he acknowledged as much and said "well done". Gotta respect a gentleman. The keys to engaging famous folks in discussion are: (a) be polite. "I think you were mistaken..." gets you further than "you're full of..."; (b) get to the point (no rambling); (c) support your argument-- simply saying "you're wrong" or "I disagree with what you said about..." isn't enough. Back it up with info.; (d) honor any conditions on their replies, such as not sharing their personal email addresses with anybody, or keeping certain convos "off the record". And if they give you information, but ask you keep them anonymous as a source, do so. Likewise, if they ask you to sit on information, do so. (I had to keep the US Open series "under my hat" for months until it was announced publicly.)

JR, I think you misunderstood what I was saying about Chanda. I wasn't suggesting any kind of honor for her, just the respect of actually showing her matches. USA wouldn't show her matches, even when she was in the top 10, yet they would send a portable cam and Johnny Mac out to court 93 to show Zack Fleishmann (sp?). (Before anybody nitpicks, I know there's no court 93.)

Re: black announcers, there are at least 5 current or former WTA players with broadcast experience: Katrina Adams, Chanda Rubin, Zina Garrison, Leslie Allen, and Stacey Martin. Yet, somehow, USA (and ESPN2, CBS, NBC) couldn't find any, whilst the Tennis Channel found a couple. So I sincerely doubt it's a lack of interest on the part of the persepctive announcers. The lack of interest is from the folks who could be hiring them. USA Network has been covering the US Open for, what, over 25 years? And they still have an announcing team that's all-white, and all but one is male. It would be one thing if they were still using their original announcers from when they started, but there has been quite a bit of turnover. And moreover, it's not as if they have all great announcers.

Getting back to Althea, another aspect of her career that is often glossed over is that she faced continuing racism even after she broke through. Many accounts of her career ignore that, suggesting that the racist taunts stopped after she started playing the majors, or after she started winning them. Not the case. Even when she came back to defend her US title in 1958, she was still being verbally assulted from the stands. So it's not like she showed up in 1950, got some abuse for a round or two, and then it ended. She got it all career long.

Information others have posted here (about the lawsuit forcing the USTA's hand) and in other threads (including other accounts of actions by USTA officials) show that there still is a long way to go. Which leads back to my original wondering about how thorough the ceremony will be. The USTA obviously wouldn't want people looking too closely at things.

darice
Aug 16th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Alfa, I think you misread my statement, re: Althea and the serve/volley game. I didn't say she pioneered the style. (If you've seen my other threads, you'll see I acknowledge Marble in this regard.) She was credited with ushering in a generation of serve/volleyers. To usher in an era, you don't have to pioneer a stroke, just have success with it. If the majority of the champions following you employ a similar tactic, you get recognized for ushering in that era. If you look at my original post, I draw comparisons to Borg, Connors, and Evert with regards to the 2-hander. None of them pioneered the stroke by a long ways, yet a lot of folks would tell you they certainly popularized it. And, if memory serves, King herself has said she became a serve/volleyer because she saw Gibson do it.

Or, going beyond groundstrokes, Martina Navratilova is credited with ushering in era of heavy fitness training (weights, etc.). Does making such a statement suggest she pioneered it? No. King did fitness training. Court's was legendary. But back then it was a few players. After Martina did it, and became dominant, it became widespread.

As to the other players' remarks about Althea's game, well it's hardly surprising. As many of the rank-and-file players of the era have mentioned, the top players were quite rude to this "interloper", and gave her the cold shoulder in the locker room. (Yet the media often twisted this by claiming it was Gibson who was "arrogant and aloof".) So it's not surprising they would disrespect her game. And it's also not surprising they haven't been taken to task for it. If Althea made those remarks, she'd be blasted. The Williamses have been lambasted for less, and accused of not giving their opponents "enough credit" (using similar language that is seen as candid from others.) As Alfa pointed out, many, indeed most, great players have some flaw in their game, even if it's only relative to their strengths. But you don't see other champions so quick to point out them out.

Re: communicating with famous writers, etc. as was pointed out in other replies, they are surprisingly approachable. I've had email exchanges with many folks inside and outside of tennis. Many of the folks at USA Today, and many of the members of the ITWA. Most amusing reply I got was from one guy who didn't want to agree with what I said to him, but couldn't find any holes in my argument, so he acknowledged as much and said "well done". Gotta respect a gentleman. The keys to engaging famous folks in discussion are: (a) be polite. "I think you were mistaken..." gets you further than "you're full of..."; (b) get to the point (no rambling); (c) support your argument-- simply saying "you're wrong" or "I disagree with what you said about..." isn't enough. Back it up with info.; (d) honor any conditions on their replies, such as not sharing their personal email addresses with anybody, or keeping certain convos "off the record". And if they give you information, but ask you keep them anonymous as a source, do so. Likewise, if they ask you to sit on information, do so. (I had to keep the US Open series "under my hat" for months until it was announced publicly.)

JR, I think you misunderstood what I was saying about Chanda. I wasn't suggesting any kind of honor for her, just the respect of actually showing her matches. USA wouldn't show her matches, even when she was in the top 10, yet they would send a portable cam and Johnny Mac out to court 93 to show Zack Fleishmann (sp?). (Before anybody nitpicks, I know there's no court 93.)

Re: black announcers, there are at least 5 current or former WTA players with broadcast experience: Katrina Adams, Chanda Rubin, Zina Garrison, Leslie Allen, and Stacey Martin. Yet, somehow, USA (and ESPN2, CBS, NBC) couldn't find any, whilst the Tennis Channel found a couple. So I sincerely doubt it's a lack of interest on the part of the persepctive announcers. The lack of interest is from the folks who could be hiring them. USA Network has been covering the US Open for, what, over 25 years? And they still have an announcing team that's all-white, and all but one is male. It would be one thing if they were still using their original announcers from when they started, but there has been quite a bit of turnover. And moreover, it's not as if they have all great announcers.

Getting back to Althea, another aspect of her career that is often glossed over is that she faced continuing racism even after she broke through. Many accounts of her career ignore that, suggesting that the racist taunts stopped after she started playing the majors, or after she started winning them. Not the case. Even when she came back to defend her US title in 1958, she was still being verbally assulted from the stands. So it's not like she showed up in 1950, got some abuse for a round or two, and then it ended. She got it all career long.

Information others have posted here (about the lawsuit forcing the USTA's hand) and in other threads (including other accounts of actions by USTA officials) show that there still is a long way to go. Which leads back to my original wondering about how thorough the ceremony will be. The USTA obviously wouldn't want people looking too closely at things.

and go dominique you say what? :bolt:

Rollo
Aug 16th, 2007, 12:38 PM
There are several books on Althea to be found(including children's books for those who have kids):

Born to Win written by a friend after Gibson's death.

The Match-the best book on Althea I've read-this is available in most US bookstores like Border's and Barnes and Noble.

Althea's own autogio I Always Wanted to Be Somebody,


For anyone interested in 1957 (including a SI cover shot of Althea as she went for her historic win at Forest Hills)

http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=310867


A thread on Althea that needs more contributions!
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=194280

1950s thread with many pics on "Big Al"
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=38600

Helen Lawson
Aug 16th, 2007, 09:24 PM
The Fiftieth Anniversary of my Oscar win is in a year and a half. I fully expect a special tribute late in the show and an honorary statuette.

woosey
Aug 16th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Why do black people of note gather themselves together and identify with one another,fair enough if that is their want, but then set up a howling of outrage if people group them, or remark on them using their colour or race as a reference,when they themselves set the standard for this very behaviour?

I just love the old have your cake and eat it syndrome!

Please explain what you mean.

please don't. :weirdo:

Pureracket
Aug 16th, 2007, 10:56 PM
There's a difference between a minority group coming together to celebrate their uniqueness, and a majority group coming together to exclude others.
Wonderful post in response to a major hatemonger. NICE!

GoDominique
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:13 PM
Well I say that, interestingly, Brian did not comment again on the "African-American players not shown on TV" bit again, which was the main issue I had with his original post. But of course he's more than welcome to do this.

And again, what's the purpose of this whole exercise? Brian is presenting evidence, but for what?
The USTA honours Althea Gibson. In response to allegations of racism? Who knows. But even if, does that imply they plead guilty? No.
PMac gets multi-year contracts, Zina doesn't. Because of racism? That's pretty far-fetched. There are other possible reasons which are much more likely.
They don't show African-American women's matches. Racist, or misogynist? Rather the latter, if at all. We all know lesser treatment of women in tennis (although they are, of course, better than men in every possible aspect) is Brian's other pet peeve. Is it right to use the very same evidence for both issues simultaneously? I don't think so. It's either/or, or a bit of both.
They don't hire black announcers. Again, why? Racially motivated discrimination? I admit I can't answer this because I'm not from the US. Would seeing a black announcer or just hearing a black announcer's voice on TV make viewers switch channels? If the answer is yes then this country has a big problem. Honestly, I don't think this is the case. But I can't know. If it isn't, it has to be due to racist attitudes of TV channel executives, or of long-time white announcers who don't want to work with black colleagues. Is this likely? I doubt it.
Or do you want them to hire black announcers just for the sake of having black announcers? Brian doesn't say that the five persons he mentions have actually tried to get a job. Maybe they have, then you need to ask them personally why they were turned down.

I have a big problem with Brian's posts in this thread, which is the following:

Brian tries hard to provide extensive evidence of African-American women being under-represented in the world of US tennis, in each case suspecting or implying racially motivated discrimination. However, he has no proof for his allegations (which, I admit, would be difficult to find), and he also has no testimonies of any of the people that are allegedly getting neglected.

Now Brian doesn't say it explicitly but what he's trying to do is paint a picture of USTA and TV networks (and, I guess, the whole white American society) being deeply corrupted by ingrained racist attitudes which are often governing their (discriminating) actions.
I think that it is wrong to do that, regardless of whether there's truth to it or not. It is a severe accusation to most of the people involved in the USTA and the TV networks, and also to all other white folks. And IMO you just can't do that without having any concrete evidence for it. And Brian has none.

alfajeffster
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:42 PM
Alfa, I think you misread my statement, re: Althea and the serve/volley game. I didn't say she pioneered the style. (If you've seen my other threads, you'll see I acknowledge Marble in this regard.) She was credited with ushering in a generation of serve/volleyers. To usher in an era, you don't have to pioneer a stroke, just have success with it. If the majority of the champions following you employ a similar tactic, you get recognized for ushering in that era. If you look at my original post, I draw comparisons to Borg, Connors, and Evert with regards to the 2-hander. None of them pioneered the stroke by a long ways, yet a lot of folks would tell you they certainly popularized it. And, if memory serves, King herself has said she became a serve/volleyer because she saw Gibson do it.

Or, going beyond groundstrokes, Martina Navratilova is credited with ushering in era of heavy fitness training (weights, etc.). Does making such a statement suggest she pioneered it? No. King did fitness training. Court's was legendary. But back then it was a few players. After Martina did it, and became dominant, it became widespread.

As to the other players' remarks about Althea's game, well it's hardly surprising. As many of the rank-and-file players of the era have mentioned, the top players were quite rude to this "interloper", and gave her the cold shoulder in the locker room. (Yet the media often twisted this by claiming it was Gibson who was "arrogant and aloof".)

Actually, I do take umbrage with the idea that Althea Gibson somehow "ushered in" a serve-and-volley era. In the 1950s, the Harry Hopman dynasty was in full force, and featured almost entirely a serve-and-volley style that was both taught and embraced by female players throughout the world. Margaret Osborne duPont, Louise Brough, Shirley Fry, Doris Hart, and especially Darlene Hard (all Gibson's contemporaries) could more accurately be seen as ushering in the serve-and-volley game, and it may come as a surprise to some here, but Alice Marble herself was instrumental in gaining Althea access to play in her first U.S. National Championships, where she lost to another serve-and-volleyer, Louise Brough. Alice Marble and Darlene Hard both became good friends with Althea, however, I doubt very much that the media twisted or manufactured some sort of "arrogant and aloof" persona for Althea Gibson, she was a street-tough big and arrogant girl who had to deal with adversity most around her didn't have to deal with, and her natural instinct was to call a spade a spade, and not always in the most polite sounding language. It's understandable given the lilly-white era she came up in, and I don't blame her one bit, in fact I respect her for taking a stand and blazing a trail when it mattered most. I just don't believe in painting a picture that she ushered in or even remotely influenced Bueno, Court, King and the leading net-rushers of the 60s and 70s. She didn't. Billie Jean King was clearly influenced by Alice Marble and even Maureen Connolly, and Margaret Court in particular was almost entirely influenced by the Harry Hopman dynasty and the Australian men who attacked the net.

Vlover
Aug 16th, 2007, 11:59 PM
[QUOTE=GoDominique;11430640]
I admit I can't answer this because I'm not from the US.

I this voids your credibility in your defense of the USTA.:rolleyes: Brian definitely has more credibility than you by your own admission.

Now Brian doesn't say it explicitly but what he's trying to do is paint a picture of USTA and TV networks (and, I guess, the whole white American society) being deeply corrupted by ingrained racist attitudes which are often governing their (discriminating) actions.
I think that it is wrong to do that, regardless of whether there's truth to it or not.

The highlighted portions says a lot about you. Its people like you who should be feared because the truth and history of discrimination doesn't make a difference to you.:help: How sad!:o

GoDominique
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:10 AM
I this voids your credibility in your defense of the USTA.:rolleyes: Brian definitely has more credibility than you by your own admission.
Are you dumb? Where did I "defend" the USTA? I didn't comment on them at all, I just said Brian provided no substantial evidence that there's racism going on there.

The highlighted portions says a lot about you. Its people like you who should be feared because the truth and history of discrimination doesn't make a difference to you.:help: How sad!:o
Once again, are you dumb? (The answer is yes.) In case you didn't notice, I object to Brian's way of arguing the case, not investigating the case itself.
If there's indeed racism in the system, it should be fought.
Wow, I just read your post again and it's absolutely retarded. How sad! :help::o:o:help:

Vlover
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:22 AM
I think it is interesting how there are very little changes in tennis since Althea was allowed to play with her white counterparts. Her style of play doesn't appear to be accepted as on par with her contemporaries by white elites as the same argument is being made today with regards to Venus and Serena. Also Althea was viewed arrogant and aloof... Does that ring a bell today.

Things that make you go mmmmmmm;)

PS: Dumonique I can see why you earned the nickname. I strongly suggest you try another thread because I have no more time to waste on you.

moby
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:40 AM
The USTA honored Arthur Ashe by naming their new stadium after him.....four years after he died. The USTA is honoring Althea Gibson's historic win at Forest Hills.....four years after she died. The USTA honored Billie Jean King by renaming the National Tennis Center after her.....while she's still alive. I don't think that's a coincidence, but if I say what it REALLY is, I'll be accused of playing a certain card.If anything, naming two stadiums after Ashe and Gibson shows that the USTA acknowledges their struggles and difficulties, and is trying desperately to be politically correct. I'm not saying the USTA's not racist, but this simply isn't a good example of it. At all. I doubt it's a coincidence that the three biggest courts in the USTA National Tennis Center are all named after blacks.

After all, there is no shortage of American players with far better resumes than Ashe and Gibson, or even King - Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Wills Moody, Connolly... so we know the decision to name the courts is not based solely on tennis accomplishments.

And really, no one should begrudge the honours bestowed upon Billie Jean King, however prematurely - what she's done for women's tennis is in a league of its own.

ico4498
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:57 AM
hail Althea Gibson! :worship::worship::worship:

her pioneering spirit brought the game to the attention of many folks not considered in the original blueprint, inspiration for generations to come.

the naysayers will try their best to discredit her accomplishments, as they have with countless others who overcame cultural, historical and personal challenges to emerge as champions.

gwaan Althea Gibson!:bounce: ... WE REMEMBER!

darrinbaker00
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:44 AM
If anything, naming two stadiums after Ashe and Gibson shows that the USTA acknowledges their struggles and difficulties, and is trying desperately to be politically correct. I'm not saying the USTA's not racist, but this simply isn't a good example of it. At all. I doubt it's a coincidence that the three biggest courts in the USTA National Tennis Center are all named after blacks.

After all, there is no shortage of American players with far better resumes than Ashe and Gibson, or even King - Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Wills Moody, Connolly... so we know the decision to name the courts is not based solely on tennis accomplishments.

And really, no one should begrudge the honours bestowed upon Billie Jean King, however prematurely - what she's done for women's tennis is in a league of its own.
You missed my point, my friend. My point was that the USTA chose to honor Mr. Ashe and Miss Althea after they died, while Ms. King got to smell her flowers. In my opinion, that's just plain wrong, and I'd bet everything I own that Ms. King would say the same if you asked her.

GoDominique
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:49 AM
You missed my point, my friend. My point was that the USTA chose to honor Mr. Ashe and Miss Althea after they died, while Ms. King got to smell her flowers. In my opinion, that's just plain wrong, and I'd bet everything I own that Ms. King would say the same if you asked her.
While they should probably have honoured Gibson during her lifetime, let's not forget that Ashe died very prematurely so no blame on the USTA for that.
As for King, she's probably the most significant figure in women's tennis history so I guess she deserves it. Do you expect the USTA to wait for her death to honour her out of courtesy to Ashe and Gibson? Please.

tennistuff
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:07 AM
1. I don't believe for a second that you had a discussion with Wertheim.
2. Gimelstob and Goldstein have a penis, the other four do not.

Gosh, I can't believe people here are still worshipping your tired rehashed routines you've been c/p'ing for 8 years now.

Wow Go Dominique do you have anything positive to say? We have young Althea's needing your support like Alexus Jones but they bash her and you help.

GoDominique
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:10 AM
Wow Go Dominique do you have anything positive to say?
Yes! I hope that the next big facility they build will be named after young tennis phenom Alexus Jones! :)

tennistuff
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:17 AM
Yes! I hope that the next big facility they build will be named after young tennis phenom Alexus Jones! :)

My bad lol

tennistuff
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:22 AM
My bad lol

All jokes aside Althea has paved the way for Alexus and many other little girls and boys with a dream:) :worship:

moby
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:33 AM
You missed my point, my friend. My point was that the USTA chose to honor Mr. Ashe and Miss Althea after they died, while Ms. King got to smell her flowers. In my opinion, that's just plain wrong, and I'd bet everything I own that Ms. King would say the same if you asked her.Yes, it would have been ideal to honour Ashe and Gibson while they were alive.

My points, which I believe are not entirely irrelevant, are:
1) The posthumous nature of the recognition was unfortunate, but by no means a slight, which I felt was what you were implying. Any recognition at all is an honour.
1) The USTA could just as easily have chosen to honour other players (dead or alive) and with good reason, but they did not. In fact - and this is wild postulation on my part - it could be the recency of the deaths that led the USTA to choose Ashe and Gibson to honour. Think along the lines of "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
2) King is simply in a different league; she is not an appropriate barometer for comparison.