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Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:36 PM
In the past people have tried to defend crowd reactions to Venus and Serena in terms of "cheering for the underdog" and have compared the situation to reactions to past number 1s. After today, however, it seems clear that racism definitelyhas something to do with how the Williams sisters are treated around the world -- of course crowds are naturally going to want the underdog to win, but you would have NEVER seen this type of treatment by a crowd to Graf or Navratilova when they were number one.

Some might say that the Williams sister's attitudes lead to further resentment by these crowds -- their lack of respect for opponents for example. Steffi, however, rarely gave her opponents the respect they deserved -- the outcome of the match, in her opinion, always seemed to be a simple function of how well SHE played. Still, Graf was never treated like this.

I'm not saying that the people in these crowds are KNOWINGLY racist, but racism seems to be evident in the double standard that exists.

korben
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:43 PM
So if crowd supports Williams opponent they are automaticly racists. Oh please.

DA FOREHAND
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:47 PM
Please delete this thread. The crowd was RUDE! Racist, I didn't get that, and I watched the entire match.

Steffi was right, if she played well she rarely lost.

Serena was clearly outplayed in the first set, got rattled barely composed herself to win the second, and let the crowd and justine's unsportsmanlike conduct get to her. She didn't rise the occ. like so many champions, and she herself has done in the past.

kyk710
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:55 PM
No I really do not think the crowd was racist, although they were out of line. In her interview, Serena said that she didn't think the crowd was racist either.

DunkMachine
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:55 PM
Korben that's a typical response. Tell me why this could NOT be the case. Well?!

They are black, charismatic, intimidating and female.

lakeway11
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:57 PM
no, just rude...worse behavior has been shown by French crowds in the past...passionate yes, classy, no

John Inverdale
Jun 5th, 2003, 08:07 PM
Anti-American racist - could be argued for, if intoxicated.

Just pro-local.

I loved it. They'd get louder and louder during a point and then people would yell "sh!". Great to see people getting so involved. Maybe Williams fans don't revognise it because matched involving the 2 are usually so boooooring and uninvolving, everyone just sits there trying not to fall asleep or cry with boredom.

Brαm
Jun 5th, 2003, 08:53 PM
Of course not, white ppl like Hingis, Clijsters etc. also got booed by the French crowd in the past..

They just don't like Serena I guess..

irma
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:00 PM
steffi was not bashed for not giving credit?

lmao :o

irma
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:04 PM
that said I don't know if steffi ever got boohed of the court except in florida then :o

fammmmedspin
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:27 PM
Hingis is Black?

The crowd in Paris seem to think they are there to ensure that their person is treated properly to the exclusion of the other player. They tend to go off when players challenge the umpire against their players interest. Martina challenged the call (probably rightly) the umpire failed to find the right mark, pro-Graf crowd went mad. Serena, avoided challenging calls and did nothing but the umpire gave her 3 calls, checked them unconvincingly and was totally ineffective in protecting Serena. Crowd went mad and the intense support for Justine got nastier - but the cause was the change in the score not Serena.

DarkCore
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:28 PM
Danke Anke, the difference between Hingis/S.Williams and Graf/Navratilova is that the former have reputations of being *brats*, whereas the latter do not. Dominant number one players on the WTA tour rarely receive more cheering than their opponents; and in Serena's case she has been the most dominant player since Graf, circa the late 80s. But when you're this dominant -and- a player who has a tendency to be bratty at times, crowds are going to be even more against you. I'd bet you a million bucks that if Chanda Rubin ever became a dominate number one player that she would NEVER receive the kind of treatment that Serena did today. Why? Because she's classy and has always been classy. She doesn't have a history of defaulting matches; she doesn't have a reputation for brushing off everyone in the lockerroom who isn't her sister or Alexandra Stevenson. She doesn't have a history of suddenly having mysterious injuries when she's losing matches in Grand Slams; and she doesn't have a history of rarely giving her opponents any credit. And so on, and so on.

In short: there are some major differences between Serena Williams and other former number one players. Just because Graf was never booed to the extent that Serena was today that doesn't mean you can attribute it to race. That's just sloppy thinking. The fact of the matter is that Serena has a personality which many find disagreeable and annoying (including myself). She may be able to kick her older sister's butt on a tennis court, but she has a heck of a lot to learn from Venus and other former number ones when it comes to handling herself, both on and off the court. Although she has improved in this area over the last year (the same way Hingis improved in the years following the 1999 French Open), I still think she has a way to go yet.

[And one final thing: when it comes to Serena Williams and racism, I'd say that there are more people who like Serena -because of- her race than people who dislike her -because of- her race. If you transplanted all her character traits into a white tennis player, she'd probably be as disliked as Irina Spirlea, Natalie Tauziat, or Hingis (in her earlier years).]

King Lindsay
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:29 PM
Yeah, I bet. One of the most liberal countries in the world is booing a black tennis player because of her skin colour. Yes, of course.

John Inverdale
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:32 PM
One of the most liberal countries in the world is booing a black tennis player because of her skin colour
Duuuuuh. There's no other reason for it.

Dava
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:35 PM
There were black people cheering for Justine! Even Serena did not think it was racist. I dont think it is racist. I think Paris is one of the most raically intergrated citys in the world (I could be wrong but its the impression I get from the time I have spent there).

TonyP
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:35 PM
French fans have booed Mary Pierce. And what they did to Hingis was 100 times worse, and she doesn't look black, either.
Screaming racism at every opportunity is just crying wolf. It makes it harder to fight real racism.

Jakeev
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:38 PM
Come on people let's not make race the issue here. The French are notorious for their bad manners and rudeness as fans. They even boo their own for crying out loud.

Even cyclist Lance Armstrong has seen backlash the past few years.

Reality is the French just are not all that nice when they are cheering for one player and not the other.

M&M
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:40 PM
well i don't know if they were racists. but they were bitchy for sure and unfair...

John Inverdale
Jun 5th, 2003, 09:42 PM
Screaming racism at every opportunity is just crying wolf. It makes it harder to fight real racism.
That was a shockingly good point. Just wanted to acknowledge that out loud.

croat123
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:26 PM
no

Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:30 PM
I'm not saying the French specifically although their behavior today was awful -- I'm saying crowds around the world. And I'm not saying crowds are awful to her ONLY because of her race but I think it is a part of it. And Hingis was poorly treated in Paris, but elsewhere in the world she had no problems at all -- can you say this about Serena?

LeonHart
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:31 PM
Didn't u see all those Justine clicks that were in the stadium, with their belgium flags? I think that'll explain the booing (obviously wanting to give Justine momentum). Some booed when Serena barely shook Justine's hand after the match, and didn't even bother with the umpire until she put her rackets away...

King Lindsay
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:32 PM
I'm not saying the French specifically although their behavior today was awful -- I'm saying crowds around the world. And I'm not saying crowds are awful to her ONLY because of her race but I think it is a part of it. And Hingis was poorly treated in Paris, but elsewhere in the world she had no problems at all -- can you say this about Serena?

that's not true... I can't think of one place where martina had crowd support. While she was #1, anyway.

Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:34 PM
lindsay, there's a difference between crowd support and crowds being rude -- crowds outside of paris were rarely rude to hingis but are often hostile towards serena

o0O0o
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:38 PM
Danke you are very ignorant. Hingis was always jeered for so much as looking at a line call anywhere in the world.

John Inverdale
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:45 PM
Danke Anke - there's also a difference between making a point. And killing one by thrusting it in our faces every. time. Serena. loses.

Serena lost - World racist.
Serena wins - World fine.

We've got it.

Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:50 PM
Danke you are very ignorant. Hingis was always jeered for so much as looking at a line call anywhere in the world.

First of all, I disagree with that, look at the tournaments in Australia where Hingis was hugely popular.

Secondly, even if your comment were true, questioning a line call would represent at least SOME sort of provocation -- crowds were, overall, quite respectful of Hingis unless she did something to piss them off DURING THE MATCH.

If you look at the Williams sisters, a lot of crowds around the world will cheer when they double fault -- a huge sign of disrespect. This RARELY happened to the likes of Hingis, Graf, Davenport, Navratilova when they were at the top of the game.

Secondly, don't call me ignorant because I say one thing you disagree with.

My only point here is that racism is ONE ELEMENT of the hostile crowd response to the Williams sisters around the world. Those of you that are saying that racism has nothing to do with it need to realize that racism is EVERYWHERE -- often times people aren't even conscientious of racist tendencies. The world is full of racism and a tennis stadium is not exempt from this fact. Again, I'm by no means saying this is the primary reason for crowd response to the Williams sisters -- I'm just saying it's one element that people want to ignore.

Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:54 PM
Danke Anke - there's also a difference between making a point. And killing one by thrusting it in our faces every. time. Serena. loses.

Serena lost - World racist.
Serena wins - World fine.

We've got it.

Have I said anything at ALL in this post about winning or losing in this post? No. I'm talking about crowd response regardless of match outcome. If you're going to make a response like that at least read what I've written.

Kuti Kis&Monica
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:03 PM
As a French, i can try to explain which reasons why the crowd was like that today.

1/ French's crowd and medias didn't appreciate the fact that Serena was so agressive versus Momo, was judged like someone who was taken the whole thing with out of proportion. The medias in here insisted a lot in this "Eye killer".

2/ Crowd (still by the medias) heard about what Serena said re the fact she can't lose against if she's playing good, and that nobody can beat her apart herself. (Weird when we're in France know for our arrogance ;) )

3/ Serena is the number one, and people in France are really fed up with that, so the classical argue about "Underdog".

My opinion about that is that it's definitely not about racism. Did you see the Shaker's hand? It was a incredible lack of respect. Even if i admire a lot Serena about all she accomplished (and will), she shows no class today. Steffi Graf wasn't like that as i read it in here. Always respectful.
But my conclusion is that the medias helped a lots to Crowd' reaction, as they did it with Martina Hingis in 99. I don't think that in Serena's case, it changes the curse of the match. Justine deserved her victory, but we can see unfortunately how media can manipulate an opinion and waste a little bit the show.

John Inverdale
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:04 PM
Why read it? I've read it all before. It's monotomous.

Want to know why Martina was liked in Australia? Well lets see

1) She didn't insult Australian people before she went there. Or have people already forgotten that?
2) She kept losing.
3) She played entertaining tennis
4) She was a one of a kind.

I don't like the Williams. I don't care that they're black. I don't like them because the tennis they play is boring. They had a stronghold over womens tennis making it boring. There were two of them, resulting in twice the coverage. Not only that, I have to put up with their psychotic dad shoving them into my face. I have their "extra curricular activites" shoved into my face. I have their inability to give other players credit shoved into my face.

And worst of all. I have their arrogant. Judgemental. Hypoctitical. Loud mouthed. Viscious. Fans shoved into my face. EVERY TIME THEY LOSE. You're all happy to pick on other players for not being perfect, but completely unaccepting in the fact that they're not perfect either. Which causes other people to *shock* not like them.

Tarsius
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:06 PM
Since when was a crowd full of Belgians cheering for a Belgian player considered racist?

Danke Anke
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:22 PM
Why read it? I've read it all before. It's monotomous.

Want to know why Martina was liked in Australia? Well lets see

1) She didn't insult Australian people before she went there. Or have people already forgotten that?
2) She kept losing.
3) She played entertaining tennis
4) She was a one of a kind.

I don't like the Williams. I don't care that they're black. I don't like them because the tennis they play is boring. They had a stronghold over womens tennis making it boring. There were two of them, resulting in twice the coverage. Not only that, I have to put up with their psychotic dad shoving them into my face. I have their "extra curricular activites" shoved into my face. I have their inability to give other players credit shoved into my face.

And worst of all. I have their arrogant. Judgemental. Hypoctitical. Loud mouthed. Viscious. Fans shoved into my face. EVERY TIME THEY LOSE. You're all happy to pick on other players for not being perfect, but completely unaccepting in the fact that they're not perfect either. Which causes other people to *shock* not like them.



It's like talking to a brick wall... Let's go through this post step by step so you might understand.

First, of your 4 comments about Hingis, your first point is valid. (However, notice that I've maintained that racism is only ONE OF SEVERAL reasons for crowd reactions like this). For your second Hingis point, how did she keep losing? She won there 4 times in a row and made the finals twice... Three: it's YOUR opinion that she played interesting tennis and the Williams don't. Four: how are the Williams sisters NOT one of a kind?

Moving on: I'm not saying YOU or ANYONE ON THIS BOARD IN PARTICULAR IS RACIST. My point is that racism is inevitable within a general population and that a tennis stadium isn't some non-racist haven.

About your last comment: I myself am not a fan of either Williams sister. I do, however, recognize the fact that Serena and Venus are treated differently as dominant tennis players because they are black. THAT is why I have sympathy for them on this particular point. You did mention, however that "[You] have their arrogant. Judgemental. Hypoctitical. Loud mouthed. Viscious. Fans shoved into [your] face." It seems like everything you've said in your responses has been pretty arrogant, judgemental, loud mouthed, and viscious. Hmm. And that fact would make you hypocritical as well. Five for five, congratulations!

Lisbeth
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:38 PM
If there was any bias, I suspect strongly that it was anti-American, not anti-black. Still wrong, but the French kind of did get vilified in the USA lately for having a different view from the Americans and maybe some took it to heart. However French crowds are infamous for being unforgiving and partisan - and undoubtedly have more in common with a French speaking Belgian than an American of any colour.

DarkCore
Jun 6th, 2003, 01:47 AM
About your last comment: I myself am not a fan of either Williams sister. I do, however, recognize the fact that Serena and Venus are treated differently as dominant tennis players because they are black. THAT is why I have sympathy for them on this particular point.

Danke Anke, you keep assuming this but can't really prove it. Yes, there is racism everywhere, thus I am sure there are probably a few stray people out there in every tennis crowd who decide to cheer against anyone who isn't white. But this element is SMALL, imo. It's not even close to being the primary factor behind what we witnessed today. If it were a BIG element then Chanda Rubin would be treated as poorly on a regular basis. The fact of the matter is that she isn't (for reasons I stated in an earlier post of mine in this thread). And besides, in this day and age I'd say that homophobia is more prevalent and accepted than racism against blacks, yet you don't see crowds cheering against Mauresmo or other openly lesbian players for no reason at all.

Just remember that if a person says "The crowds weren't driven by racism" someone is not saying that there were no racists in the crowd. Chances are there were a few, just like you can find a few racists in any environment. The question is whether racism was -a significant underlying cause of how Serena was received today?- I think the answer to that is clearly "no".

Chance
Jun 6th, 2003, 01:53 AM
I don't think the crowds were racist.. were the French racist against ASV and Conchita???? They boo their french players as well, basically the French crowds are big meanies(yes I know a have gift) .
Look I was very disappointed with what Serena had to go through in the 3rd set but in my opinion IW was worse.

F-R-E-A-K
Jun 6th, 2003, 01:55 AM
I believe they were racist.. i just watched the end again and geeze its sad wat happened to serena.. and then when she gave justince that cold handshake... the crowd boo her even more.. then the smart girl as she walks out gives them big waves!! SERENA U MADE ME SOO PROUD!!!! U OUT SMARTED THEM!

tennisvideos
Jun 6th, 2003, 01:59 AM
If it was Chanda Rubin out there playing I would imagine she would get a LOT of support. IMO It's all about personality and domination factor, not colour.

F-R-E-A-K
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:05 AM
yeah tennisvideos i agree.... its the personalitly and how dominant the sisters are.. i admit i wanted justine to win eventhough shes not my favo player serenas more my fav then justine.. btu i just wanted to havea diff GS final 4 once!

Rollo
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:09 AM
Danke Wrote:

you would have NEVER seen this type of treatment by a crowd to Graf or Navratilova when they were number one.

Sorry sweetie, but you haven't seen enough videotape if you say that.
I say Martina's DF's get cheers plenty of times. And in 1974 the crowd had Chris Evert crying at the backstop at the US Open vs. an AUSSIE.

tennisvideos
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:15 AM
Hi Rollo :)

Have to agree. Martina got a lot of stiff treatment from the crowds...

And was that the SF against Evonne in 74? I have parts of that match and Chris wasn't happy and Jimmy and his mum looked filthy ;)

Rollo
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:20 AM
Hi there Tenin :wavey: svideos

It was the quarters vs. Lesley Hunt. Hunt always pushed Chris on fast surfaces, taking Chris to 11-9 at Wimbledon.

And the only two times I read about Evert crying on court were both when she was playing Hunt and fans were booing her errors and shouting insults. The first was in Dallas ( some of the people doing this were drunk) and the second was the Open. I think Evert won both matches in 3rd set tiebreaks:)

darren cahill
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:23 AM
hello Craig and Rollo! i think the 3 of us have to realize that no one else is going to remember these instances because most people on here are so young they barely even remember the 99 French and the other reason is that tennis didnt exsist before venus and serena...

SerenasMelons
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:25 AM
If it was Chanda Rubin out there playing I would imagine she would get a LOT of support. IMO It's all about personality and domination factor, not colour.
Yes I agree. How did the crowd treat Rubin in her match against Henin-Hardenne?

tennisvideos
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:25 AM
Rollo - wow that's amazing - esp that many in the crowd would cheer against Evert - in the USA!!!! Who would have thought Lesley Hunt could have featured in those two incidents! Would have loved that Wimbledon match with Chris and Lesley.

tenn_ace
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:29 AM
Korben that's a typical response. Tell me why this could NOT be the case. Well?!

They are black, charismatic, intimidating and female.

because the same French crowd was cheering for them last year and a year before... how could you say they are racist??? :rolleyes:

polishprodigy
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:38 AM
This is absolutely ridicoulous. THe crowds were simply in favour of the underdog, who also was french-speaking. They were not racist, I totally agree with TonyP, the fight against racism is hurt by these silly accusations.

Greenout
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:40 AM
The French racists? LOL.

I knew this one would come up. Sorry;but
you can call the French arrogant, smug, elitist,
no annoying;but their not really that racist.

France nowadays is one of the most ethnically
intergrated countries. You can be born somewhere
else and still become a French citizen. Look at
footballers like Zizu, Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera,
Robert Pires- all not ethnically French- yet French

tennisvideos
Jun 6th, 2003, 02:46 AM
Darren - LOL. Too true! :)

Jane
Jun 6th, 2003, 04:54 AM
The French crowd certainly abused Serena, but it was not racially motivated. They can be rude and over-the-top in support of their favorites. But the French are certainly “equal opportunity abusers”. In the years I have been following tennis, I have seen them make similar attacks on players of both sexes, gay and straight, of every race, creed and national origin. The audience at the USO is not much better. Some on the board may remember the ’91 Open when Monica was even booed while receiving her trophy for having the audacity to beat both the newest American darling, Jennifer Capriati and the sentimental favorite, Martina N. Most champions have had to face similar hostility at some point in their careers.

Lisbeth
Jun 6th, 2003, 05:15 AM
The French racists? LOL.

I knew this one would come up. Sorry;but
you can call the French arrogant, smug, elitist,
no annoying;but their not really that racist.

France nowadays is one of the most ethnically
intergrated countries. You can be born somewhere
else and still become a French citizen. Look at
footballers like Zizu, Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera,
Robert Pires- all not ethnically French- yet French

You are absolutely right, of course, but some people will just never appreciate that exactly the same prejudices do not apply to every place in the world.

franny
Jun 6th, 2003, 05:42 AM
omg what the hell is wrong with you. The crowd were bitches but let me tell you something, they WERE NOT CHEERING AGAINST SERENA BECAUSE SHE WAS BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!! thats the only way you can call it racism, if the fans were booing her because of the color of her skin. Otherwise, it is NOT RACISM. the fans today booed serena ONLY BECAUSE SHE WAS PLAYING AGAISNT A PLAYER THEY LOVE, SHE WAS CONSTANTLY QUESTIONING CALLS, AND SHE DEMOLISHED AMELIE MAURESMO. that is the reason, and in many parts of the world people boo serena because she is arrogant in her play. That is it. NOT RACISM. i am so sick of this bullshit.

seeing_red
Jun 6th, 2003, 05:51 AM
I don't think the crowd was booing because they racist. It's more like they really want Justine to win and they are tired of Serena winning all the time.