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Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 03:36 AM
Tennis is racist - it's time we did something about it
As race courses through the veins of tennis, people pretend it doesn't exist

Martin Jacques
Wednesday June 25, 2003
The Guardian

When Serena Williams was beaten by Justine Henin-Hardenne in the French Open semi-final, she was booed every time she questioned a decision - even when she was clearly in the right. And, towards the end of the match, every first serve she missed was greeted with loud cheers.

Unsurprisingly, Williams was reduced to tears. At the end, she was booed off, just as her sister Venus had been after her defeat by Russia's Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round. Various explanations were offered to explain the crowd 's hostility to Serena, including support for the underdog and the number of Belgians there. Both were no doubt part of the explanation but the most likely - racism - barely got a mention.

The antipathy of a tennis crowd is hardly a new experience for the Williams sisters In the semi-finals of the US Open last year, the American crowd supported Amélie Mauresmo of France rather than Venus: for the overwhelmingly white, middle-class crowd, the bond of colour clearly counted for more than the bond of nation.

During a second round match at this year 's Roland Garros, when a blonde American teenager, Ashley Harkleroad, knocked out Daniela Hantuchova, the Eurosport commentator, a former player, excitedly declared that perhaps America had found the women 's champion it was looking for. And the Williams sisters, pray? Sorry, wrong colour.

At the Indian Wells final in 2001, Serena was jeered the moment she appeared on court and was booed throughout. Her father, Richard, described how, as "Venus and I were walking down the stairs to our seats, people kept calling me ******. One guy said, 'I wish it was '75 [alluding to the Los Angeles race riots ]; we'd skin you alive.'"

None of this should be surprising. Tennis is an overwhelmingly white middle-class sport, both in those who play and those who watch. Until the Williams' emergence, the only previous black grand-slam champions were Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Yannick Noah. Western societies - be they European or American - are deeply racist: notwithstanding that veneer of politeness and refinement, the middle-class is certainly no exception.

Although Venus and Serena got a warm reception in their opening matches at Wimbledon, the fact is there will be few brown or black faces in the crowd, and little understanding or sympathy for what it is like to be black from spectators, commentators or tennis reporters. For the great majority, the sisters are from an alien world compared with their white opponents.

The extraordinary thing is that this is hardly ever written or said. As race courses through the veins of tennis, people pretend it doesn't exist. Instead the Williams sisters, together with their father, are subjected to a steady stream of criticism, denigration, accusation and innuendo: their physique is somehow an unfair advantage (those of Afro descent are built differently), they are arrogant and aloof (they are proud and self-confident), they are not popular with the other players (they come from a very different culture and, let us not forget, there is plenty of evidence of racism among their colleagues: comments made by Martina Hingis spring to mind, not to mention the behaviour of Lleyton Hewitt towards a black linesman in last year's US Open).

And Richard, a man of some genius, is painted as a ridiculous and absurd figure, match-fixer, svengali and the rest of it. Most racism - especially middle-class racism - is neither crude nor explicit but subtle and nuanced, masquerading as fair comment about personal qualities rather than the prejudice it is.

The achievement of the Williams sisters is towering. Coming from a black ghetto in Los Angeles, riven by drugs and guns, they have scaled the heights of what their father has accurately described as a "lilywhite sport", with enormous verve and skill, and in the process have dealt with the prejudice of the tennis establishment, the players, the crowds and the media with great grace and dignity.

It is often said that one of the reasons crowds favour their opponents is that they like to side with the underdog. Yet, when the Williamses arrived on the scene they rarely received support even though they were the underdogs. And, by any standards, given what and where they have come from, Venus and Serena remain just that.

Now that sport has made the transition to the main stream of society and, by the same token, from the back to the front pages, it is not good enough to pretend that sport - any sport - is a culture free, value free zone. The ubiquity of racism in football is just beginning to get the attention it deserves. And so it should: football houses the biggest single manifestation of racism in most European societies. And the same goes for other sports. It is no longer good enough for reporters and commentators to turn a blind eye to racism.

Tennis - including lily-white Wimbledon - should be no exception.

Gowza
Jul 30th, 2003, 03:38 AM
there is nationalism and racism which one is tennis? it's hard to call.

Vegetable
Jul 30th, 2003, 03:40 AM
riiiiiight....moving on....

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 30th, 2003, 03:50 AM
:yawn:

There's no racism in tennis, at least not on the scale they're discussing. Of course there's going to be some dumb fucker in the locker room or in the crowd who is going to have racist feelings towards the sisters, but the two times when the crowd really got against Serena, they had somewhat legitimate reasons.

2002 Indian Wells-When you've already shown reluctance to play each other, pulling out two minutes beforehand is a bit sketchy. If there were two white sisters who were the biggest acts in tennis and did this, they would get the same reaction as well. It has nothing to do with color. It has to do with feeling gipped.

2003 RG-The crowd was mean and unfair to Serena and I found it very distasteful. However, the French consider Justine to be French because she is from the french speaking part of Belgium (the same way they consider Mary to be french because she owns a french passport). Furthermore, Serena had completely embarassed their top player in Amelie Mauresmo the other day. French fans are fickle. They did the same thing to Martina Hingis back in 99. I doubt they're prejudiced towards white swiss players. The french are fickle, simple as that. Serena got a warm response in all of her other matches. If they're cheering for her opponent, it's not racism. It's called wanting to see a good match and not a 6-2 6-1 trouncing.

When Alexandra Stevenson made her comments about rampant racism on the tour in Wimbledon 2000, notice how not one other black player came to back up her statements. Not Chanda, not Mashona, not Lori, not Zina, not V and S. The reason is that bottom line, there is no more racism on the tour and the tennis world than there is in the everyday working world.

I apologize if I sound unsympathetic/like I'm bashing the sisters. Venus and Serena are two of my favorites. I'm aware racism is still alive and well in America and is a very serious issue. I just think the reason they aren't so warmly embraced is because they are so dominant. It took Monica being stabbed, Steffi coming back from potentially career ending injuries and Pete Sampras falling off the mountain big time in order to be embraces. Once they appear more "human," as with any other athlete who's the best in what they do, they will become more embraced by fans.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 03:55 AM
:yawn:

There's no racism in tennis, at least not on the scale they're discussing. Of course there's going to be some dumb fucker in the locker room or in the crowd who is going to have racist feelings towards the sisters, but the two times when the crowd really got against Serena, they had somewhat legitimate reasons.

2002 Indian Wells-When you've already shown reluctance to play each other, pulling out two minutes beforehand is a bit sketchy. If there were two white sisters who were the biggest acts in tennis and did this, they would get the same reaction as well. It has nothing to do with color. It has to do with feeling gipped.

.

Why boo Serena?? She didn't pull out, Venus did. Why should Serena be punished for anger towards Venus??

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 30th, 2003, 04:06 AM
Why boo Serena?? She didn't pull out, Venus did. Why should Serena be punished for anger towards Venus??

Perhaps it has to do with the fact this match was before Serena broke out with all of her slams and the #1 ranking, which gave her her own "identity." She was no longer Venus's little sister, she was no longer one of the sisters, she wasn't part of a twosome, she was now Serena Williams, her own woman. This was before all of that so perhaps the crowd assumed Serena encouraged Venus to default. I dunno, it doesn't make much sense but I guess since they were considered to be half of one whole person at the time and not an individual, Venus's decision was a reflection of Serena.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 04:28 AM
Perhaps it has to do with the fact this match was before Serena broke out with all of her slams and the #1 ranking, which gave her her own "identity." She was no longer Venus's little sister, she was no longer one of the sisters, she wasn't part of a twosome, she was now Serena Williams, her own woman. This was before all of that so perhaps the crowd assumed Serena encouraged Venus to default. I dunno, it doesn't make much sense but I guess since they were considered to be half of one whole person at the time and not an individual, Venus's decision was a reflection of Serena.

An assumption?? So basically the crowd had no good reason, right??

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 30th, 2003, 05:00 AM
I'm not justifying the crowds action, but they have a somewhat legitimate argument. If tennis were racist, they'd be booed EVERYWHERE they go, every match they play.

Tarsius
Jul 30th, 2003, 05:25 AM
The key word here is racism, not anti-Negro, not anti-Black but racism. Its a sweeping term that should, assuming the proposition is correct, include other races as well (yes folks, there are other races that are not black or white). Lets work with this.

When Shinobu Asagoe was dismantling Daniela Hantuchova at Wimbledon, did this racism manifest itself as it was proposed to have occured at RG 2003? In Scottsdale as Ai Sugiyama won over Kim Clijsters, did the same occur? If we assume that the proposition is entirely correct, and that Williamses are deemed unliked or unsupported by crowds wherever they go is MAINLY due to racism, then how can you explain their support for Sugiyama and Asagoe, who in their matches went against very white and very popular seeded players?

Maybe there is such a thing as preference?

Why do a lot of fans here support low ranked players? Surely it must be obvious that preference for a player as can be seen from the people here sometimes have little to do with ranking or achievement. If it was dogma that we as fans base our preference strictly on how good a player is, then do you think anyone will support anyone else other than Serena Williams?

Preference is a function of many things, and yes it includes regionalism, nationalism and racism. But to propose that racism is the main driver for such is absurd. What about preference for style of play, the way they look, the way they dress, the way they talk, their personal lives and personalities... all of this is part of why one supports a player and their levels of influence upon preference varies with every fan.

This is the line that really kills this argument:
... there will be few brown or black faces in the crowd, and little understanding or sympathy for what it is like to be black from spectators, commentators or tennis reporters. For the great majority, the sisters are from an alien world compared with their white opponents.

The article suggests that there is a great injustice against the sisters precisely because the people who watches them can't sympathize to the hardships they have faced. That they are "alien" in a field of familiars. If this is true, then how come it doesn't manifest with Asagoe and Sugiyama? Surely they are of different race as well. If it holds true that fans watching dont like the Williamses precisely because they have " little understanding or sympathy for what it is like to be black", then does it follow that they appreciate Asagoe and Sugiyama because they have "a GOOD understanding of what it is like to be Asian who cant even speak English in a land full of tall Caucasians"?

Answer carefully. Remember, the proposition is that the Williamses are not popular because they are black and that the spectators are racially inclined to support the white player regardless of any other reason. Given the example of how the Asian players were treated, it is obvious that that proposition is greatly flawed and the article greatly biased. MAYBE, just maybe, there are other more compelling reasons why such fans dont like the sisters... and MAYBE, just maybe, those reasons are even more influential than racism.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 06:10 AM
The key word here is racism, not anti-Negro, not anti-Black but racism. Its a sweeping term that should, assuming the proposition is correct, include other races as well (yes folks, there are other races that are not black or white). Lets work with this.

When Shinobu Asagoe was dismantling Daniela Hantuchova at Wimbledon, did this racism manifest itself as it was proposed to have occured at RG 2003? In Scottsdale as Ai Sugiyama won over Kim Clijsters, did the same occur? If we assume that the proposition is entirely correct, and that Williamses are deemed unliked or unsupported by crowds wherever they go is MAINLY due to racism, then how can you explain their support for Sugiyama and Asagoe, who in their matches went against very white and very popular seeded players?

Maybe there is such a thing as preference?

Why do a lot of fans here support low ranked players? Surely it must be obvious that preference for a player as can be seen from the people here sometimes have little to do with ranking or achievement. If it was dogma that we as fans base our preference strictly on how good a player is, then do you think anyone will support anyone else other than Serena Williams?

Preference is a function of many things, and yes it includes regionalism, nationalism and racism. But to propose that racism is the main driver for such is absurd. What about preference for style of play, the way they look, the way they dress, the way they talk, their personal lives and personalities... all of this is part of why one supports a player and their levels of influence upon preference varies with every fan.

This is the line that really kills this argument:


The article suggests that there is a great injustice against the sisters precisely because the people who watches them can't sympathize to the hardships they have faced. That they are "alien" in a field of familiars. If this is true, then how come it doesn't manifest with Asagoe and Sugiyama? Surely they are of different race as well. If it holds true that fans watching dont like the Williamses precisely because they have " little understanding or sympathy for what it is like to be black", then does it follow that they appreciate Asagoe and Sugiyama because they have "a GOOD understanding of what it is like to be Asian who cant even speak English in a land full of tall Caucasians"?

Answer carefully. Remember, the proposition is that the Williamses are not popular because they are black and that the spectators are racially inclined to support the white player regardless of any other reason. Given the example of how the Asian players were treated, it is obvious that that proposition is greatly flawed and the article greatly biased. MAYBE, just maybe, there are other more compelling reasons why such fans dont like the sisters... and MAYBE, just maybe, those reasons are even more influential than racism.

V and S are popular, more than any other American players, all of tennis is definitely NOT racist, but there have been incidents like Venus vs. Mauresmo at the US Open semi. If that had been the French and Mauresmo had been the higher ranked player and the favorite, there is NO way they would have cheered for Venus and against Mauresmo. They supported Capriati vs. Mauresmo, but NOT Venus. Do you honestly think there were that many Mauresmo fans that just happened to show up to that semifinal?? Be realistic. Davenport receives much support in America, but the Williams just don't get the same support all of the time like the other American players. Like the writer of the article said, the majority of people in those seats at the tourneys, are white middle class citizens. As for Sugiyama and Asagoe, they are asian. Were asians previously enslaved in America?? Were they discriminated against?? Were they lynched for being Asian in America?? Are they still being discriminated against today?? The answer is no. Unfortunately black people are. There is alot of resentment of two black sisters being at the top of a sport that is 95% white. Especially in America. Do Ai and Shinobu live in America?? They still represent Japan. They are not Americans. Tennis legend have even openly said that resentment for the Williams is racism. The Williams came strong on tour around 97-98 but they were NEVER cheered on for being the underdog, so what was the reason then?? There is so much strong evidence of the racism in tennis. More so than evidence of no racism.

Midnite Surfer
Jul 30th, 2003, 06:46 AM
You present a very interesting point. This is something that I remember debating in my Asian American Literature class years ago. Basically, there has always been racism in this country towards Asians however, it has always been different than racism towards Blacks. Blacks and Whites in America have a very unique relationship. Blacks have always been set up as the diametric opposite of whites much like the colors of their skin. Black and white are opposite both in the spectrum of visible light and the spectrum of humanity. Blacks were seen as childish emotionally driven creatures as opposed to rational human beings. Blacks, or the man/child were considered hard to control and needed to be kept away from civilized society. Hence the derogatory term "boy", which was frequently used by white southern men to rob Black men of their manhood.

White culture in this country has always been the dominant culture. Blacks with their slang ie. codewords, music, style of dress etc, have always been resistant to enculturalisation (adopting the cues and signifiers of the dominant culture). In short, Blacks have always been viewed as difficult to, for lack of a better word, tame.

To their benefit, Asian Americans being viewed as docile, have successfully embraced White American culture. They have become the favored minority in this country. Consider the history of racial stereotypes in American cinema. Charlie Chan, one the the most notorious Asian film archetypes was flamboyantly feminine and preening in his manners and gestures. D.W. Griffith's, "Birth of a Nation", showed America the image of a black man (actually a white man with his skin painted jet black) chasing a white woman through the forest, until she is saved by white men. This film is one of the first feature length films and is still hailed in film schools as a masterpiece to this day because if it's technical innovations.

In this history of propagandism in which Black men and women were depicted as sex starved and overly virile with huge penises, while Asian men docile and feminine with small penises, America has learned to internalize these ideas and respond to them subconciously. Basically, of all the hyphenated minority cultures, Asian-American is the least anti-american or dangerous. While African-American is seen as a taunt or thumbing of one's nose to the prevailing establishment.

DunkMachine
Jul 30th, 2003, 07:56 AM
Nice post midnite.

We can all go back and forth on this but there is one fact that is undeniable. Venus and Serena have allways been held to a different standard and have not been treated the same as other players.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 08:56 AM
We can all go back and forth on this but there is one fact that is undeniable. Venus and Serena have allways been held to a different standard and have not been treated the same as other players.

:worship:

per4ever
Jul 30th, 2003, 09:05 AM
I don't believe in the racism-thing really. If that would be the case, it would happen to Chanda Rubin too. I don't recall Chanda being booed somewhere.

I only read about what happened in Indian Wells, and I don't know enough about the situation in the USA to give comment about it.

French Open 2003 however was no racism. The crowd was terrible I admit that. Racism still exists, but I think it's much better in Europe then in the USA. So why did the crowd boo? Supporting the underdog, revenge for the slaughter of Momo, supporting the french speaking girl, sheering for Justine's dream to come true.. There are so many reasons.

Btw don't condamn all french supporters: it's always a minor group who starts booing. It's a group-effect that many others just follow.

moon
Jul 30th, 2003, 10:32 PM
I don't believe in the racism-thing really. If that would be the case, it would happen to Chanda Rubin too. I don't recall Chanda being booed somewhere.

I only read about what happened in Indian Wells, and I don't know enough about the situation in the USA to give comment about it.

French Open 2003 however was no racism. The crowd was terrible I admit that. Racism still exists, but I think it's much better in Europe then in the USA. So why did the crowd boo? Supporting the underdog, revenge for the slaughter of Momo, supporting the french speaking girl, sheering for Justine's dream to come true.. There are so many reasons.

Btw don't condamn all french supporters: it's always a minor group who starts booing. It's a group-effect that many others just follow.

You said, I only read about what happened in Indian Wells, and I don't know enough about the situation in the USA to give comment about it."

But right before that you said you don't believe in it?
which is it?

White people from other countries, can say they BELIEVE whatever they want, but the fact is, you don't live in the USA, and you dont have a CLUE about being black in the USA or in France for that matter.

bandabou
Jul 30th, 2003, 10:42 PM
IW´01, that´s a lame excuse because Serena was ready to play. Still, no matter how wrong she was..does that warrant booing her and cheering Kim who´s from another country AND white?!

Last year´s Open semi against Amelie. How can someone cheer against their home player?! And again the other player happens to be white. Come on, to deny this is to act like a ostrich!

No one boos Chanda because she´s an underdog herself. Plenty of years without winning anything big. As long as you aren´t winning they TOLERATE you. Not accept, tolerate.

Dawn Marie
Jul 30th, 2003, 10:45 PM
Per4ever you are ignorant.

What makes you think Chanda has not experienced racism? V@S are on top that is different to many people. They are not in their place s to speak but are at the HIGEST LEVEL. To use a biased statement about what you THINK regarding Chanda Rubin and disregarding racism is pathetic.

Go back to school kiddo.

People brush off racism but know that the tour is sexist and homophobic, racism should not be excluded.

P>S> The brushing under the rug statement about the "underdog crap" holds no water with the truth.

So many times I've seen with my own eyes a player playing in the US beating down the underdog and the crowd cheers HAPPILY.

If it were Jen playing Momo that day the crowd would not have acted like that.

it is not that they are cheering for the French girl, it is that they are cheering AGAINST the beautiful black Nubian Queen Venus.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 10:56 PM
I don't believe in the racism-thing really. If that would be the case, it would happen to Chanda Rubin too. I don't recall Chanda being booed somewhere.

I only read about what happened in Indian Wells, and I don't know enough about the situation in the USA to give comment about it.

French Open 2003 however was no racism. The crowd was terrible I admit that. Racism still exists, but I think it's much better in Europe then in the USA. So why did the crowd boo? Supporting the underdog, revenge for the slaughter of Momo, supporting the french speaking girl, sheering for Justine's dream to come true.. There are so many reasons.

Btw don't condamn all french supporters: it's always a minor group who starts booing. It's a group-effect that many others just follow.

No one booes Chanda because she is not a threat to the top players, and she is not as popular as the Williams. The Williams have basically taken over tennis which is traditionally a white dominated sport. Also they are not as quiet as Chanda. The Williams won't be tamed or controlled, and this is another reason there is resentment of the WS.

bandabou
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:06 PM
No one booes Chanda because she is not a threat to the top players, and she is not as popular as the Williams. The Williams have basically taken over tennis which is traditionally a white dominated sport. Also they are not as quiet as Chanda. The Williams won't be tamed or controlled, and this is another reason there is resentment of the WS.

Very well said. Chanda was like a lamb...easy to contain. The sisters tell like it is and people don´t like that by black people.

Astro Jetson
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:11 PM
Oh please, the writer of that article isn't even a tennis journalist.
Was Yannick Noah white? Was Martina black when she was booed?
To state that the tennis world is full of racism is just outrageous.
This is not to say that booing is ok. It's not!

Pureracket
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:11 PM
:yawn:

There's no racism in tennis, at least not on the scale they're discussing. Of course there's going to be some dumb fucker in the locker room or in the crowd who is going to have racist feelings towards the sisters,...


This is the kinda dismissive attitude that the article suggests about the middle class mentality. The problem is that there are too many "dumb fuckers" in the locker rooms and in the crowds; however, the one that you mention is enough for it to be a problem.

This kind of racism occurs when you ignore it and minimize it.

Tarsius
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:15 PM
Do you honestly think there were that many Mauresmo fans that just happened to show up to that semifinal?? Be realistic.
And I could say the same thing for those who cheered for Asagoe against Hantuchova. Do you honestly think that there were that many Asagoe fans that just happened to be along in that match?

Davenport receives much support in America, but the Williams just don't get the same support all of the time like the other American players. Like the writer of the article said, the majority of people in those seats at the tourneys, are white middle class citizens.
Then let us reverse the situation just for the sake of argument. If the most of the people watching there were Black Americans, do you expect the same treatment for the likes of Davenport? With this statement you are basically arguing that the Williamses are treated the way they are because the audience are "middle class white folk", implying that their tendency will be to support other "middle class white folk". Given that, do you think it unjust for them to act like that? Are you saying that they are obligated to support the Williamses regardless of their inherent preferences because the Williamses deserve it and acting out otherwise is unjust?

Preference is what drives a fan to support a player, and as I said tendencies to support familiars (of the same race or geographic locality) is part of that. HOWEVER, is it the only or most important part? Because you are implying that that is the most important criteria that the audience is looking for.

As for Sugiyama and Asagoe, they are asian. Were asians previously enslaved in America?? Were they discriminated against?? Were they lynched for being Asian in America??
You are missing the point. Racism is not just between blacks and whites. You're talking as if Asians were not a different race altogether. And for the record, YES they were discriminated and enslaved, not in America but their OWN homelands when the White Americans colonized them. Effectively, they've had it worse than the blacks. So this argument does not hold water.

Giuliano
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:16 PM
What I don't understand is that Ashe, as far as I know, was very respected and that Noah is an idol in France (he was even asked to give a speech during the cup ceremony), yet there are problems with the sisters. That leaves me :confused:

Pureracket
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:22 PM
Tarsius,
Your posts are very informative and intellectual, but I can't honestly believe that you are categorizing Asian racism with African American racism.

The two are different, and I think you could be being unfair to both groups by doing this.

Knizzle
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:40 PM
And I could say the same thing for those who cheered for Asagoe against Hantuchova. Do you honestly think that there were that many Asagoe fans that just happened to be along in that match? Hantuchova and Asagoe were 12-10 in the third!! Are you saying they wouldn't have cheered for Hantuchova if she had won?? Also they were in a neutral country when they played. Venus was in her own country vs. a foreign player. If hanutchova was in slovakia do you think there would be many people in the stands rooting for asagoe?? Why would the top 2 American players not receive the same or more support as two other Americans ranked lower than them?? In any other country behavior like this would be preposterous. One thing about Americans, they will not BOO people from other countries off the court, but they HAVE done it to Serena.


Then let us reverse the situation just for the sake of argument. If the most of the people watching there were Black Americans, do you expect the same treatment for the likes of Davenport? With this statement you are basically arguing that the Williamses are treated the way they are because the audience are "middle class white folk", implying that their tendency will be to support other "middle class white folk". Given that, do you think it unjust for them to act like that? Are you saying that they are obligated to support the Williamses regardless of their inherent preferences because the Williamses deserve it and acting out otherwise is unjust?

Preference is what drives a fan to support a player, and as I said tendencies to support familiars (of the same race or geographic locality) is part of that. HOWEVER, is it the only or most important part? Because you are implying that that is the most important criteria that the audience is looking for. I support Davenport as my #3 favorite player behind V and S, followed by Seles, and previously Henin(until the hand incident-I still like Henin's game though) and I am black. But Mauresmo doesn't receive this kind of support against Capriati or Davenport in America. Why would she get it against Venus?? I know some people in America love Mauresmo, but virtually the whole crowd of 20000+ cheered against Venus. I doubt there were that many true Mauresmo fans.


You are missing the point. Racism is not just between blacks and whites. You're talking as if Asians were not a different race altogether. And for the record, YES they were discriminated and enslaved, not in America but their OWN homelands when the White Americans colonized them. Effectively, they've had it worse than the blacks. So this argument does not hold water.

Racism towards Asians has not been displayed on tour up to this point, or rather it has not been reported. You act as if it is not possible for people to be racist against blacks, but not Asians. ALSO these players are not a threat to the top of the tennis world, if they were, I bet you would hear of more racism towards them.

Brian Stewart
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:49 PM
Why is it whenever there is a discussion of racist behavior by tennis crowds, Chanda, AKA "the other dark meat", is trotted out as a counterexample, and yet the incidents she has faced are conveniently overlooked? Let's review:

It was Chanda who was denied permission at Wimbledon one year to bring her mother in through the gates early literally a minute after a white player was given the same permission to bring in a non-coaching parent. There was no pre-arrangement, and the player in question was not a former Wimbledon champ, etc.

It was Chanda who received racist death threats at the Australian Open a few years ago. Not coincidently, she was the highest ranked black player in the world at the time.

Just over a month ago, the Eastbourne final was delayed because of phoned-in bomb threats. Also, there were threats made against one of the players in the final. Given that there are only two players in the final, there was a 50% chance of it being either of them. However, given that a lot of these nutjobs are bigots, and that even the majority of people who regularly follow tennis aren't aware that Conchita is gay, we can figure who the odds favor as the "threatee".

Those are the most glaring examples. There are also the subtle ones. For example, whenever there's an article discussing which players can beat the Williamses, who is almost invariably omitted (even as lower-ranked players with a poor track record against W2 are often included)? When Reuters released a preview of the top women players challenging for the Wimbledon title on the eve of the Championships, why was every one of the top 10 seeded players listed except the one who had just won her second consecutive Eastbourne title? And for that matter, why do so many writers still misspell such a short name like Chanda's, even after a dozen years on tour, but they had no problem learning how to spell "Hantuchova" in short order.

As per Venus and Serena, there is a most glaring double standard. That "rooting for the underdog" excuse is garbage. In the 2002 RG semis, we had a similar situation, in which the top seed, #1 player, and defending champ, was questioning calls against an underdog. Yet she did not get booed. And there was not the support for the underdog, who had recently lost a string of matches to said top seed.

And the Indian Wells incident smacked of racism all around. Not only was Serena unfairly treated. Not only did the writers conveniently omit the fact that had Venus taken the court and played one point, Serena would have gained 66 Quality Points, which would have boosted her another ranking spot after the tournament. (Of course, this would have shot holes in their conspiracy theory that Venus withdrew to help Serena's ranking.) But several pieces written about the withdrawal contained this bald-faced lie: "she showed no sign of the injury earlier in the tournament". Go to the following website: http://www.asapsports.com/tennis and click on Indian Wells 2001. Read Elena Dementieva's interview after her quarterfinal loss to Venus, and you'll see she twice made reference to Venus looking (on court) like she was injured. Jump back a couple of days, and read Venus' interview after her R16 match. She was asked about the bandage she had on her knee, and if that was why she wasn't playing doubles with Serena that week.

So, the fact remains that several writers LIED about Venus, and did so in a negative fashion. Why? For all of their knee-jerk denials of any racism, why has there been no explanation of this from any tennis writers? They did this. They had to have some form of motivation to do so. If it's not racism, then what?

And even more stupid was the later suggestion that if Venus had gone out and spoken to the crowd to announce her withdrawal, that somehow things would have been okay, and there would have been no problem, no animosity, etc. Does anyone with even half a braincell really believe this?

I, and many others here, are fully aware that not every negative event that happens to a black player is racially motivated. However, the reverse has to be acknowledged too. You can't say that because it's 100% racism, that it is then 0%. To use an appropriate metaphor, things aren't that black and white. One of the things to look for is inconsistency. For example, when someone explains away a situation by saying "it's not racism, it's this...", but when the same situation occurs with the race of the players involved reversed, and the players are treated differently than they were in the other case, then that original explanation doesn't hold up.

One last detail: have you noticed a common thread among many of these racially-charged incidents? They almost invariably take place at combined events (usually slams), where the crowd is more of a "traditional" tennis crowd. In the regular WTA Tour only events, where crowds are more diverse, the players get treated differently.

Bezz
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:58 PM
For some reason i never grouped african-americans and asian-americans into racism, i always assumed the writers were on about african americans :confused: .

I think there is resentment that venus and serena are winning pretty much everything, and that there isnt a white player that can knock them off. I dont think its enritely becuase they are black, i think their attitude is also a factor. We have seen in the past with white players like monica and martina- they have been booed and disliked becuase they were/are too arrogant. I agree with some other posts that the likes of chanda and stevenson (although ppl dislike her more cos of her attitude), are not disliked as much as V&S cos they dont challenge the top players as much. I think its begining to dawn on some people that venus and serena will be dominating for years and i dont think they can cope with it, it was ok when they were winning a few slams and big tournies here and there but now its different, they are in the finals all the time and winning everything.
I also think the sisters bring a uniquness to tennis never seen and nobody really knows how to handle it. I think them being sisters and as good as they are leaves ppl not knowing who to cheer for, when venus plays chanda or serena plays chanda its much easier to route for one or the other even though they are both black, but when venus plays serena, the only reason some ppl cheer for one or the other is becuase " serena has 6 GS and venus only has 4", or " venus hasnt won in while it would be nice for her". These kinds of reasons wouldnt apply to a hingis vs davenport or Hingis vs williams match. It also seems that if yu support one sisters yu support the other and it doesnt really matter who wins as long as one of them does ( this can also be seen in Justine and kim ;) ). But for people who dont support one its normally the case they dont support the other. Only time will tell how the williams's will be viewed in tennis history.

:wavey:

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:01 AM
Why is it whenever there is a discussion of racist behavior by tennis crowds, Chanda, AKA "the other dark meat", is trotted out as a counterexample, and yet the incidents she has faced are conveniently overlooked? Let's review:

It was Chanda who was denied permission at Wimbledon one year to bring her mother in through the gates early literally a minute after a white player was given the same permission to bring in a non-coaching parent. There was no pre-arrangement, and the player in question was not a former Wimbledon champ, etc.

It was Chanda who received racist death threats at the Australian Open a few years ago. Not coincidently, she was the highest ranked black player in the world at the time.

Just over a month ago, the Eastbourne final was delayed because of phoned-in bomb threats. Also, there were threats made against one of the players in the final. Given that there are only two players in the final, there was a 50% chance of it being either of them. However, given that a lot of these nutjobs are bigots, and that even the majority of people who regularly follow tennis aren't aware that Conchita is gay, we can figure who the odds favor as the "threatee".

Those are the most glaring examples. There are also the subtle ones. For example, whenever there's an article discussing which players can beat the Williamses, who is almost invariably omitted (even as lower-ranked players with a poor track record against W2 are often included)? When Reuters released a preview of the top women players challenging for the Wimbledon title on the eve of the Championships, why was every one of the top 10 seeded players listed except the one who had just won her second consecutive Eastbourne title? And for that matter, why do so many writers still misspell such a short name like Chanda's, even after a dozen years on tour, but they had no problem learning how to spell "Hantuchova" in short order.

As per Venus and Serena, there is a most glaring double standard. That "rooting for the underdog" excuse is garbage. In the 2002 RG semis, we had a similar situation, in which the top seed, #1 player, and defending champ, was questioning calls against an underdog. Yet she did not get booed. And there was not the support for the underdog, who had recently lost a string of matches to said top seed.

And the Indian Wells incident smacked of racism all around. Not only was Serena unfairly treated. Not only did the writers conveniently omit the fact that had Venus taken the court and played one point, Serena would have gained 66 Quality Points, which would have boosted her another ranking spot after the tournament. (Of course, this would have shot holes in their conspiracy theory that Venus withdrew to help Serena's ranking.) But several pieces written about the withdrawal contained this bald-faced lie: "she showed no sign of the injury earlier in the tournament". Go to the following website: http://www.asapsports.com/tennis and click on Indian Wells 2001. Read Elena Dementieva's interview after her quarterfinal loss to Venus, and you'll see she twice made reference to Venus looking (on court) like she was injured. Jump back a couple of days, and read Venus' interview after her R16 match. She was asked about the bandage she had on her knee, and if that was why she wasn't playing doubles with Serena that week.

So, the fact remains that several writers LIED about Venus, and did so in a negative fashion. Why? For all of their knee-jerk denials of any racism, why has there been no explanation of this from any tennis writers? They did this. They had to have some form of motivation to do so. If it's not racism, then what?

And even more stupid was the later suggestion that if Venus had gone out and spoken to the crowd to announce her withdrawal, that somehow things would have been okay, and there would have been no problem, no animosity, etc. Does anyone with even half a braincell really believe this?

I, and many others here, are fully aware that not every negative event that happens to a black player is racially motivated. However, the reverse has to be acknowledged too. You can't say that because it's 100% racism, that it is then 0%. To use an appropriate metaphor, things aren't that black and white. One of the things to look for is inconsistency. For example, when someone explains away a situation by saying "it's not racism, it's this...", but when the same situation occurs with the race of the players involved reversed, and the players are treated differently than they were in the other case, then that original explanation doesn't hold up.

One last detail: have you noticed a common thread among many of these racially-charged incidents? They almost invariably take place at combined events (usually slams), where the crowd is more of a "traditional" tennis crowd. In the regular WTA Tour only events, where crowds are more diverse, the players get treated differently.

Anyone still thinks there´s no rascism in tennis?!

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:02 AM
Brian Stewart,
Excellent!!!!!

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:03 AM
For some reason i never grouped african-americans and asian-americans into racism, i always assumed the writers were on about african americans :confused: .

I think there is resentment that venus and serena are winning pretty much everything, and that there isnt a white player that can knock them off. I dont think its enritely becuase they are black, i think their attitude is also a factor. We have seen in the past with white players like monica and martina- they have been booed and disliked becuase they were/are too arrogant. I agree with some other posts that the likes of chanda and stevenson (although ppl dislike her more cos of her attitude), are not disliked as much as V&S cos they dont challenge the top players as much. I think its begining to dawn on some people that venus and serena will be dominating for years and i dont think they can cope with it, it was ok when they were winning a few slams and big tournies here and there but now its different, they are in the finals all the time and winning everything.
I also think the sisters bring a uniquness to tennis never seen and nobody really knows how to handle it. I think them being sisters and as good as they are leaves ppl not knowing who to cheer for, when venus plays chanda or serena plays chanda its much easier to route for one or the other even though they are both black, but when venus plays serena, the only reason some ppl cheer for one or the other is becuase " serena has 6 GS and venus only has 4", or " venus hasnt won in while it would be nice for her". These kinds of reasons wouldnt apply to a hingis vs davenport or Hingis vs williams match. It also seems that if yu support one sisters yu support the other and it doesnt really matter who wins as long as one of them does ( this can also be seen in Justine and kim ;) ). But for people who dont support one its normally the case they dont support the other. Only time will tell how the williams's will be viewed in tennis history.

:wavey:
May well be true, but cheering Amelie against Venus at the Open in New York?! :confused: :rolleyes:

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:06 AM
Well, i cant speak for what its like in America. but at eastbourne this year the crowd were on Chanda's side when she was playing a white person, so if racism was the motive for crowd support wouldnt they cheer Conchita??

and here in the UK Asians are much more the victim of racism than British blacks but you dont see Asians getting abuse.

as for the french open incidents, i think it was more to do with the French/American political relationship at the time of the whole Iraq thing. plus Serenas earlier comments about the french didnt help her cause.

i think that for some people its easier to find excuses rather than to accept that hey, maybe some people just dont like the Williams sisters!! :eek:

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:10 AM
Well, i cant speak for what its like in America. but at eastbourne this year the crowd were on Chanda's side when she was playing a white person, so if racism was the motive for crowd support wouldnt they cheer Conchita??

and here in the UK Asians are much more the victim of racism than British blacks but you dont see Asians getting abuse.

as for the french open incidents, i think it was more to do with the French/American political relationship at the time of the whole Iraq thing. plus Serenas earlier comments about the french didnt help her cause.

i think that for some people its easier to find excuses rather than to accept that hey, maybe some people just dont like the Williams sisters!! :eek:

And then the question is: Why not?!

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:13 AM
why not? there could be a million and one reasons!! do u like everybody? i dont like Anna Kournikova but its not coz she's white!! unless im also raciallist to my own colour!! :unsure:

Knizzle
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:45 AM
Another point that I failed to bring up in my post was that Venus and Serena seem not to be viewed as Americans, but rather just black tennis players. You always hear, "American Lindsay Davenport", but hardly ever "American Serena Williams" I think they are perceived to be outsiders in tennis in their own country.

Dawn Marie
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:51 AM
Brian Stewart, Excellent post!

My thoughts and feelings EXACTLY!

PointBlank
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:56 AM
this is shit they just wanted there country to win if your country was losing you would try anything to get them to win THERE IS NO RACISM IN BAD SPORTSMANSHIP ITS JUST AWAY TO PLAY THE GAME EVEN IF ITS WRONG!!

PointBlank
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:59 AM
Just Because Some People Are Racist Doesnt Nesicarilly Mean It Is In Tennis!

PointBlank
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:00 AM
You Always Hear American Serena Williams They Said It Before She Played Jen At The Championships!

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:00 AM
i think this is mostly an issue for you yanks to argue out!! :bolt: im not American, therefore there is no reason why i should like/support them. not that im saying that Americans necessarly should, but u know what i mean. Hell, i dont even support Tim Henman!! :lol: but if he were black would i be accused of being racist for not supporting him? :unsure:

PointBlank
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:04 AM
ok im gonna back off 2 this is for the yank's

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:19 AM
why not? there could be a million and one reasons!! do u like everybody? i dont like Anna Kournikova but its not coz she's white!! unless im also raciallist to my own colour!! :unsure:

I understand, but even Anna has some fans and doesn´t get booed! Well, maybe because she is losing all the time.

Losdogg4u
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:22 AM
I agree with Knizzle 100%. Tennis is obviously a white sport, and the minute someone of color especially black start to dominate they won't get the same treatment from crowds as someone who is WHITE. That is JUST AMERICA PERIOD. AMERICA will never get over someone of color in POWER and that is just bottom line. So this racism goes far past tennis. SERENA YOU KEEP ON DOMINATING GIRL. YOU AND YOUR SISTER VENUS. B/C BOTTOM LINE WHITE PEOPLE (NOT ALL OF THEM) CONSIDER TENNIS TO BE THEIR SPORT, BUT BLACK PEOPLE LIKE SERENA AND VENUS HAVE SHOWED THAT HEY WE AS BLACKS CAN THINK AND SUCCEED IN A SPORT THAT IS SUPPOSE TO BE "WHITE". AND THE REASON THEY SUPPORT CHANDA SO MUCH IS BECAUSE RUBIN HASN'T DONE WELL IN THE MAJORS LIKE SERENA & VENUS, SO LIKE SOMEONE SAID EARLIER IN THE THREAD THEY WILL TOLERATE HER MORE AND CHEER FOR HER. BECAUSE THAT IS JUST HOW WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE RACIST ARE. THEY WILL LIKE YOU AS LONG AS YOU AREN'T REACHING YOUR POTENTIAL, BUT AS SOON AS YOU DO AND DOMINATE WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING THEY HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM. SO I EXPECT THE BOOING TO STAY THEIR AS LONG AS V & S ARE DOMINATING IN THIS SPORT.

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:28 AM
AK duz get booed!! the best time was wen her serve didnt even reach the net!!! lol :lol: all players get it at some point! even the umpires and linespeople and theyre not even playing!!

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:34 AM
Doesn´t matter if they boo, jeer.....in the end of the day as long as the sisters are winning, it´s all what counts!

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:35 AM
if u say so! :p

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:40 AM
Umm. . .. there'r really no reason for people outside of America to defer on this argument unless it has just simply lost it's interest. Racism happens everywhere.

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:43 AM
im deffering bcoz racism is different here. in America its often about colour, here its about culture. Im just saying that you cant accuse the wimbledon crowd of being racist if they dont support the williams. they have no reason to support them. just think its a slightly different argument

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:44 AM
if u say so! :p

Or am I wrong?! winning´s the name of the game! No matter how hard they jeer, they can´t take away no victories! Hell the day they jeered serena the hardest, she though enough to win and go home with the title! And then she watched the next year when the tournament didn´t have it´s defending champion playing!

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:47 AM
no ur rite, winning is the most important thing. its just you said so long as the sisters keep winning! ;) :p

PointBlank
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:48 AM
jennifermarie where u live

bandabou
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:51 AM
no ur rite, winning is the most important thing. its just you said so long as the sisters keep winning! ;) :p

Ok dan.

"Topaz"
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:54 AM
Quite a few very good posts in here!

Jennifer's wife
Jul 31st, 2003, 01:55 AM
jennifermarie where u live

England! why? :unsure:

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 31st, 2003, 02:35 AM
My question is if there were rampant racism on tour, why is Alexandra Stevenson the only one on tour to constantly mention it? The tennis scene is essentially their workplace and I'm sure if a black person were not treated nearly as fair as a white co-worker, it certainly wouldn't be tolerated. So when Alex made her comments about racism at Wimby 2000, why didn't V and S, Mashona, Chanda, etc step forward and say "You're right, this is unfair and we aren't going to take it."

I think the other reason V and S are not given such a great response sometimes is because of their first impression. Since they first arrived on tour, they have matured into lovely, beautiful and intelligent young women. However, when they were first arrived, they were downright arrogant. They talked about being 1 and 2 in the world before they won their first tournament, were rude to several players and would say they played poorly after trouncing someone 6-2 6-1. Venus turned down offers from other players to play doubles with her because she refused to play with anyone but Serena, Serena often retired from matches without looking the slightest bit injured (she quit her match against Ruano Pascual at Wimby 98 down a set and 4-1, but was apparently diving for balls hours later in a mixed doubles match). You only get one chance to make a first impression, and unfortunately this is the one they are stuck with...

moon
Jul 31st, 2003, 03:29 PM
My question is if there were rampant racism on tour, why is Alexandra Stevenson the only one on tour to constantly mention it? The tennis scene is essentially their workplace and I'm sure if a black person were not treated nearly as fair as a white co-worker, it certainly wouldn't be tolerated. So when Alex made her comments about racism at Wimby 2000, why didn't V and S, Mashona, Chanda, etc step forward and say "You're right, this is unfair and we aren't going to take it."

I think the other reason V and S are not given such a great response sometimes is because of their first impression. Since they first arrived on tour, they have matured into lovely, beautiful and intelligent young women. However, when they were first arrived, they were downright arrogant. They talked about being 1 and 2 in the world before they won their first tournament, were rude to several players and would say they played poorly after trouncing someone 6-2 6-1. Venus turned down offers from other players to play doubles with her because she refused to play with anyone but Serena, Serena often retired from matches without looking the slightest bit injured (she quit her match against Ruano Pascual at Wimby 98 down a set and 4-1, but was apparently diving for balls hours later in a mixed doubles match). You only get one chance to make a first impression, and unfortunately this is the one they are stuck with...


:rolleyes: So I guess they were supposed to come onto the tour bowing and scraping to everyone. And I guess no one is supposed to talk about being #1 on the tour? Riiiiiight.

DA FOREHAND
Jul 31st, 2003, 04:23 PM
What I don't understand is that Ashe, as far as I know, was very respected and that Noah is an idol in France (he was even asked to give a speech during the cup ceremony), yet there are problems with the sisters. That leaves me

This person obviously knows little about Ashe and his struggles on and off the tour.

Last I checked Conchita Martinez was from Spain not Europe.

Graf spoke about becoming number one when she was 14/15, and dared to predict that it would take 2/3 yrs to get there.

Quesion: Why is it so hard to believe that there is racism in tennis?

Question: If someone told you that you hurt thier feelings, would you deny what they're feeling?

Knizzle
Jul 31st, 2003, 05:30 PM
My question is if there were rampant racism on tour, why is Alexandra Stevenson the only one on tour to constantly mention it? The tennis scene is essentially their workplace and I'm sure if a black person were not treated nearly as fair as a white co-worker, it certainly wouldn't be tolerated. So when Alex made her comments about racism at Wimby 2000, why didn't V and S, Mashona, Chanda, etc step forward and say "You're right, this is unfair and we aren't going to take it."

I think the other reason V and S are not given such a great response sometimes is because of their first impression. Since they first arrived on tour, they have matured into lovely, beautiful and intelligent young women. However, when they were first arrived, they were downright arrogant. They talked about being 1 and 2 in the world before they won their first tournament, were rude to several players and would say they played poorly after trouncing someone 6-2 6-1. Venus turned down offers from other players to play doubles with her because she refused to play with anyone but Serena, Serena often retired from matches without looking the slightest bit injured (she quit her match against Ruano Pascual at Wimby 98 down a set and 4-1, but was apparently diving for balls hours later in a mixed doubles match). You only get one chance to make a first impression, and unfortunately this is the one they are stuck with...


So Venus must play doubles with other players JUST because they asked her. If this is supposed to be a reason not to like Venus then that's some dumb shit. So Venus should lie and say she played well even though the score looks easy. That's where the Williams differ from everyone else. If they thought they played badly they will say it. If they lose and they thought they lost mainly because they played like trash and they are asked a question about it, they will say "I didn't play well at all today" They're not going to lie and say "My opponent played very well today, and they were the main reason I lost" Example: Venus' French Open loss to Zvonareva. Venus made 75 UFE's and 12 Df's that's 87 points given to Zvonareva by Venus. Zvonareva won a total of 100 points. So is Venus supposed to say Zvonareva just played too well for her an Venus didn't doom herself?? The Williams speak their mind and aren't going to suck up to anyone in the tennis establishment to be well liked.

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 31st, 2003, 05:35 PM
So Venus must play doubles with other players JUST because they asked her. If this is supposed to be a reason not to like Venus then that's some dumb shit. So Venus should lie and say she played well even though the score looks easy. That's where the Williams differ from everyone else. If they thought they played badly they will say it. If they lose and they thought they lost mainly because they played like trash and they are asked a question about it, they will say "I didn't play well at all today" They're not going to lie and say "My opponent played very well today, and they were the main reason I lost" Example: Venus' French Open loss to Zvonareva. Venus made 75 UFE's and 12 Df's that's 87 points given to Zvonareva by Venus. Zvonareva won a total of 100 points. So is Venus supposed to say Zvonareva just played too well for her an Venus didn't doom herself?? The Williams speak their mind and aren't going to suck up to anyone in the tennis establishment to be well liked.

My point exactly. I like the fact they do that, but they are one of the few players to do so. Because of that, they're going to be labeled as arrogant. But hey, if I won a shitload of singles and doubles Grand Slams and reached #1 in the world, I'd probably be the same way.

Knizzle
Jul 31st, 2003, 05:37 PM
My point exactly. I like the fact they do that, but they are one of the few players to do so. Because of that, they're going to be labeled as arrogant. But hey, if I won a shitload of singles and doubles Grand Slams and reached #1 in the world, I'd probably be the same way.

:worship: Agreed :worship:

Too bad it has to be that way though. One thing that bothers me though is that Mauresmo frequently has said she wanted to be #1 for a long time, but no one seems to notice. I guess they don't believe her.

DA FOREHAND
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:06 PM
Steffi would often site her poor play win or lose, she wasn't villified. She was trashing a 33 yr old Evert 88 A.O. Final, was she booed? No the crowd sat in stunned silence until Chris staged a mini comeback.

For every example(excuse) people come up w/for the double standards Venus and Serena are held too there are a handfull or more examples of other players being exempt. Some of you should really consider a career inside the beltway where spin is greatly appreciated.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:07 PM
I'm not justifying the crowds action, but they have a somewhat legitimate argument. If tennis were racist, they'd be booed EVERYWHERE they go, every match they play.


Sorry to say, Bradshaw, but, my dear, you are the very one this article is about...!!! All of your responses I've read only "prove" the fact that you are "naive" in the area of race relations. Some of the "biggest racists" I know, are married/friends with Blacks and other minorities...!!! No matter how much you proclaim to be a fan of the Sisters, your basic nature may indeed be otherwise. No, I'm not calling you a racist". But, you should really examine your responses in this thread, for, as I stated above, they are very "naive", and give credence to the more basic hidden theme in the article. As long as people ignore/pretend that there is no racism in todays' tennis, the harder it is to effectively deal with and erase it.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:17 PM
Perhaps it has to do with the fact this match was before Serena broke out with all of her slams and the #1 ranking, which gave her her own "identity." She was no longer Venus's little sister, she was no longer one of the sisters, she wasn't part of a twosome, she was now Serena Williams, her own woman. This was before all of that so perhaps the crowd assumed Serena encouraged Venus to default. I dunno, it doesn't make much sense but I guess since they were considered to be half of one whole person at the time and not an individual, Venus's decision was a reflection of Serena.


Certainly, this is no "justification" for the crowds behavior...???...??? In other words, Serena needed to "prove" her innocence and also "separate" herself from her sister and family, to prove something to a bunch of people who meant absolutely nothing to her...??? And, the fact that what people "thought" was not true had no place in your equation...???? Excuse me, but, I fail to see the true logic of your response, given your suggestion that it was not basically racist.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:20 PM
I'm not justifying the crowds action, but they have a somewhat legitimate argument. If tennis were racist, they'd be booed EVERYWHERE they go, every match they play.


Surely, you don't think/mean this...??? Then, you are indeed "naive"...!!!

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:35 PM
Da Forehand: last time I checked, Spain is in Europe. Conchita Martinez lives in Spain. Ergo, she also lives in Europe. QED.

Persond: what is it with these strange "quotation marks" that you add to everything? There's no real "reason" to do it as far as I can see, because you "always" put them in at the most "random" moments.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:35 PM
I don't believe in the racism-thing really. If that would be the case, it would happen to Chanda Rubin too. I don't recall Chanda being booed somewhere.

I only read about what happened in Indian Wells, and I don't know enough about the situation in the USA to give comment about it.

French Open 2003 however was no racism. The crowd was terrible I admit that. Racism still exists, but I think it's much better in Europe then in the USA. So why did the crowd boo? Supporting the underdog, revenge for the slaughter of Momo, supporting the french speaking girl, sheering for Justine's dream to come true.. There are so many reasons.

Btw don't condamn all french supporters: it's always a minor group who starts booing. It's a group-effect that many others just follow.


I am so "tired" of people offering up Chanda Rubin in arguments involving race, that I could spit...!!! Why don't you add Zina and Lori to that list and then tell me per4ever what the difference is....!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chanda, Lori and Zina could be liken to the old "House ******" during slavery. That docile, foot shuffling, yeess am speaking and acting slave that was "not a threat" to the status quo. Serena and Venus, are like the "field ******", resentful, brash, threatening the system as it is. Is that a "colorful enough" comparison to explain the damn difference to you dumb asses who don't know better...!!!...!!!...???...!!!

I dare say, if chanda starts to win slams and become dominant, she too would be faced with the same racist attitudes that the Sisters face. People "tolerate" Chanda because she is not a threat to the status quo...!!!

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:45 PM
Of course, it is inevitable that any player who starts to dominate for a lengthy period of time will become resented and disliked; once people have been built up, it's a natural reaction to want to see them knocked down again once they've had their fair share at the top of the game.

I suppose it is in part the Williams sisters' aggressive and confrontational attitude that made people dislike them specifically as opposed to other black players, but the question is which came first: did the sisters develop this kind of attitude in response to racism and crowd hostility, or did the hostility only originate because of the sisters' pre-existing attitude? Interesting issue...

In my opinion, it's wrong for any player to start trumpeting how they're going to be no. 1 when they've only just arrived on the tour. Wrong of Graf, wrong of the Williams sisters. It's most likely that these players, as talented as they are, will eventually be proved right, but until they reach the heights that they claim they can it's bad for them to over-hype themselves.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:50 PM
Of course, it is inevitable that any player who starts to dominate for a lengthy period of time will become resented and disliked; once people have been built up, it's a natural reaction to want to see them knocked down again once they've had their fair share at the top of the game.

I suppose it is in part the Williams sisters' aggressive and confrontational attitude that made people dislike them specifically as opposed to other black players, but the question is which came first: did the sisters develop this kind of attitude in response to racism and crowd hostility, or did the hostility only originate because of the sisters' pre-existing attitude? Interesting issue...

Hendouble,
I found this part of your post interesting. What was so "aggresive and "confrontational about their attitude?

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:56 PM
Ah me, this is the kind of argument that I was afraid of getting into. Well you see, those are probably the wrong words, but I had to find some way of quantifying this sort of attitude that people say the Williams sisters have; you know, this kind of brash, up-front, uncompromising way of saying "this is how we play tennis and we're not going to change it to suit anyone else". Basically, the way that they follow their own rules and don't bend to pressure to be something that they're not. I'm trying not to sound too much like a Williams propagandist here.

The idea is that this is the polar opposite of the rather crude "humble ******" stereotype that persond presented in the post above mine, the kind of attitude supposedly displayed by Rubin et al. It's a fairly simplistic way of defining the issue, but I was just wondering which came first and which led to the other: the attitude or the hostility?

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:58 PM
"Hendouble", contrary to what you think, the quotation marks are used to hightlight words or phrases I wish to underscore for emphasis. For me it's far easier than actually underscoring those words or to make them bold. I'm sorry if they "distress" you.

Now, about your statement concerning the Sisters entering the tour with their boastful statements, etc.; I see absolutely nothing wrong with having "confidence" in yourself and your game. Would you have preferred them to come on tour "wishing and hoping" to be successful. Of course you would, then, they would be "behaving" as YOU wish them to. Others have been just as confident and boastful, so what do you think of them...??? The point is two Black Girls entered the tour and said they would win Slams and be No.1, and the white tennis world became unglued...!!! It's as simple as that...!!!

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:03 PM
Ah, I getcha persond. Sorry, it just seems like rather an odd way of emphasising and stressing words to me, it does make you look as though you're inventing quotes from other posts. But anyway, I can get over it, I wasn't intending to mock you without a purpose.

There's certainly nothing wrong with having confidence and self-belief, but I do think it's wrong to start proclaiming that you're going to achieve something huge before you've even begun to reach that goal. That applies to all players, never mind just the Williams sisters; as I said above, it's very likely that the players who make these claims go on to achieve these high ambitions, but to categorically state that you WILL achieve them is not a good thing to do, in my opinion.

Vegetable
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:03 PM
I find this whole "House ******" conspiracy to be rather amusing...

And also slightly WTF, but you know, whatever.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:10 PM
Ah me, this is the kind of argument that I was afraid of getting into. Well you see, those are probably the wrong words, but I had to find some way of quantifying this sort of attitude that people say the Williams sisters have; you know, this kind of brash, up-front, uncompromising way of saying "this is how we play tennis and we're not going to change it to suit anyone else". Basically, the way that they follow their own rules and don't bend to pressure to be something that they're not. I'm trying not to sound too much like a Williams propagandist here.

The idea is that this is the polar opposite of the rather crude "humble ******" stereotype that persond presented in the post above mine, the kind of attitude supposedly displayed by Rubin et al. It's a fairly simplistic way of defining the issue, but I was just wondering which came first and which led to the other: the attitude or the hostility?


Hendouble,
The only "hostility" is from those who want the Sisters to act more humble, and more to "their" comfort zone. They wish the Sisters to "kowtow" in their presence. Well the Sisters were reared to think of themselves as the better players, and that they are just as good as anyone else. Note: Most Black people are intuitively aware of racism and have been taught to deal with it as a part of our growing up in a racist society.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:12 PM
Hendouble,(you're such a Williams propagandist)
Thanks for responding. In essence, then, you are saying that that attitude they have and the response to it is indeed a form of racism? The polar opposite of how they could have acted cannot be positive.

Anyway, I'm sorry I haven't read all of your posts in this thread because I intend to. Do you agree or disagree with the article?

Vegetable
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:12 PM
Is anyone else rolling their eyes right now?

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Yeah. That feels good.

persond
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:14 PM
I find this whole "House ******" conspiracy to be rather amusing...

And also slightly WTF, but you know, whatever.



Exactly what I would "EXPECT", from someone using "Vegetable" as their Userid...!!! :angel: :angel:

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:14 PM
I know that some of these attitudes to the sisters are wrong, but I think it's quite admirable to expect players at the top of the game to be humble and respectful of other players. The problem is, because of the lack of depth in the WTA the Williamses can't honestly say that they are part of a competitive field and that they aren't much better than anyone else out there. This domination by a few players will inevitably encourage arrogance of one sort or another, even if it is truthful arrogance. It's a pity, but that's one aspect of women's tennis that seems unlikely to change any time soon.

Vegetable
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:16 PM
LMAO :lol:

I can't argue with an angel

Knizzle
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:16 PM
I know that some of these attitudes to the sisters are wrong, but I think it's quite admirable to expect players at the top of the game to be humble and respectful of other players. The problem is, because of the lack of depth in the WTA the Williamses can't honestly say that they are part of a competitive field and that they aren't much better than anyone else out there. This domination by a few players will inevitably encourage arrogance of one sort or another, even if it is truthful arrogance. It's a pity, but that's one aspect of women's tennis that seems unlikely to change any time soon.


The sisters were labeled "arrogant" before they were at the top of the game. The backlash came immediately after they came to the tour.

tennisjam
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:17 PM
...racism is everywhere as well as in tennis and often expressed in kind of "passive" way...

still it concerns rather a minority of people that make a lot of noise and that should be simply ignored...

Vegetable
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:18 PM
The Williams sisters WERE arrogant even before they had the results to back it up. That's one reason why there was immediate backlash. That they lived up to their own arrogance is impressive though.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:21 PM
Hendouble,(you're such a Williams propagandist)
Thanks for responding. In essence, then, you are saying that that attitude they have and the response to it is indeed a form of racism? The polar opposite of how they could have acted cannot be positive.

Anyway, I'm sorry I haven't read all of your posts in this thread because I intend to. Do you agree or disagree with the article?

If this kind of crowd hostility is racism, then it is racism partly mixed with cultural differences and with a general dislike for players who dominate. It's a combination of these factors that make people dislike the Williams sisters more than their dominating predecessors, unfairly so. For sure, there are a few extremists out there who will hate all coloured players, but I'm sure that a lot of the resentment is directed at them because their uncompromising attitude is different to that of most other players. I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong, but I reckon that's the situation.

I would agree with the article in so much as there is racism in tennis, but it's not as widespread or endemic as the writer claims. The fact that two black players are dominating the sport has brought the entire issue to the forefront of the game, but it's not as though these incidents of hostility occur in every single tournament. And as hackneyed as it sounds, you do have to factor the underdog quality into the equation; crowds may not root against other American players such as Capriati or Davenport when they face the underdog, but they have never been as dominant as the Williams sisters.

DA FOREHAND
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:22 PM
All tennis players who aspire to be #1 are arrogant, go down the list of top ranked players and you won't find one that wasn't arrogant about thier game. You think that arrogance just sprung up when they reached the top?

DA FOREHAND
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:26 PM
"American players such as Capriati or Davenport when they face the underdog, but they have never been as dominant as the Williams sisters."

Another bad example, it happened before they became dominant.

But hey, "He who has the last Slam laughs loudest"... or something like that.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:32 PM
Of course all great players have inner arrogance, but I'm talking about overt arrogance, of the kind that tends to characterise the top female players. I'm not trying to start a rant against women's tennis, but the way success is thinly distributed among WTA players inevitably encourages more of this overt arrogance. I'm not saying that the arrogance isn't justified - WHEN they have actually achieved what they claim to be able to do. That's what people didn't like about the Williams sisters when they first came onto the tour.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:34 PM
If this kind of crowd hostility is racism, then it is racism partly mixed with cultural differences and with a general dislike for players who dominate. It's a combination of these factors that make people dislike the Williams sisters more than their dominating predecessors, unfairly so. For sure, there are a few extremists out there who will hate all coloured players, but I'm sure that a lot of the resentment is directed at them because their uncompromising attitude is different to that of most other players. I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong, but I reckon that's the situation.

I would agree with the article in so much as there is racism in tennis, but it's not as widespread or endemic as the writer claims. The fact that two black players are dominating the sport has brought the entire issue to the forefront of the game, but it's not as though these incidents of hostility occur in every single tournament. And as hackneyed as it sounds, you do have to factor the underdog quality into the equation; crowds may not root against other American players such as Capriati or Davenport when they face the underdog, but they have never been as dominant as the Williams sisters.
Hendouble,
I can understand what the issue is when you say racisim is partly to blame, but cultural differences seem to be pretty much a scapegoat when it comes to attributing it to crowd hostility. If they are jeered because of cultural differences, then we are all REALLY in trouble here. This can't possibly be the first time that the crowds have seen two Black American athletes.

Obviously, I'm not on the WTA tour, so I don't know the level of racism, but I have attended a few tournaments in life, and it's not about domination. When they were winning Slams, JenCap and LD routinely won 40 minute matches. Steffi Graf and Monica have both won more Slams and tournaments than the sisters, and the Sisters have never been embraced like those champions have been.

DA FOREHAND
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:39 PM
People resented them not for wanting and stating that they would be number one someday(it's happened), but because they did it thier way. Frank Sinatra is a legend in part for doing it "his way", but who in the hell do Venus and Serena think they are,...BJK,Navratilova,Evert,Graf,Seles,ASV,Hingis ,Davenport,Capriati? You're black, you can't aspire to be number one, let alone say it loud.

Maybe when Martina Hingis has left the game..;-)

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:43 PM
I don't mean to imply that crowds cannot cope with players from another race and culture, simply that the specific culture and attitude that the Williams sisters were brought up with is something that is difficult for most crowds to identify with. I'm treading on thin ice with this idea though, I don't want to speculate excessively on something that's happening on the other side of the world. And yes, I suppose that is one of the inherent problems with tennis, since it has traditionally belonged to a very different culture and class.

Of course, this is only an issue because of the sisters' domination - they are a constant presence, they are always there challenging for the big titles, and so the crowd's reaction to their presence is always under the microscope.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:49 PM
People resented them not for wanting and stating that they would be number one someday(it's happened), but because they did it thier way. Frank Sinatra is a legend in part for doing it "his way", but who in the hell do Venus and Serena think they are,...BJK,Navratilova,Evert,Graf,Seles,ASV,Hingis ,Davenport,Capriati? You're black, you can't aspire to be number one, let alone say it loud.

Maybe when Martina Hingis has left the game..;-)

Yes, a part of it is because they did it their way. But I refuse to believe that the only reason people resented them was because they didn't think two black players deserved to get to the top of the sport. And in terms of stating how they were going to be at the top of the game before they had got anywhere near achieving it, their way was wrong. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's wrong for any player to state that so uncompromisingly before they have proved themselves.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:49 PM
I don't mean to imply that crowds cannot cope with players from another race and culture, simply that the specific culture and attitude that the Williams sisters were brought up with is something that is difficult for most crowds to identify with. I'm treading on thin ice with this idea though, I don't want to speculate excessively on something that's happening on the other side of the world. And yes, I suppose that is one of the inherent problems with tennis, since it has traditionally belonged to a very different culture and class.

Of course, this is only an issue because of the sisters' domination - they are a constant presence, they are always there challenging for the big titles, and so the crowd's reaction to their presence is always under the microscope.

Thanks for the response. I actually think you're right, but it's still sad.
Culture and class could have quite a bit to do with it and their domination as well. However, there are Asian players and Eastern European players, believe it or not, who have less in common with some of these crowds than Serena and Venus do. Race very well may be the most identifiable difference that these people can cling to.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:55 PM
Well, without meaning to sound harsh, it's probably the insularity of the USA that has something to do with this single-minded focus on Venus and Serena. In the same way that people bemoan the lack of American men winning big titles, so on the women's side the presence of many players from ethnic minorities doesn't really matter because they're not American. Crowds are only really preoccupied with their own players, whether they like or dislike them.

I do think that the physical presence of both the Williamses has something to do with it as well - they are more intimidating physically than many of the past champions who dominated in their eras. And I'm not sure that equates directly to their race - after all, in terms of their appearance and fashions, they are undoubtedly unique.

DunkMachine
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:03 PM
Well, without meaning to sound harsh, it's probably the insularity of the USA that has something to do with this single-minded focus on Venus and Serena. In the same way that people bemoan the lack of American men winning big titles, so on the women's side the presence of many players from ethnic minorities doesn't really matter because they're not American. Crowds are only really preoccupied with their own players, whether they like or dislike them.

I do think that the physical presence of both the Williamses has something to do with it as well - they are more intimidating physically than many of the past champions who dominated in their eras. And I'm not sure that equates directly to their race - after all, in terms of their appearance and fashions, they are undoubtedly unique.

Omg after all this detours you have finally come to the same conclusion most of us have already made.

Simply said they are "generally disliked" because they are different from the mainstream. (NOT BY EVERYONE)

Please don't turn your sceptisism into denial.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:07 PM
Yes, I know. However, the point I am trying to make is that they are different in ways other than simply their race. And I'm trying to discuss the issues calmly, not engage in hysterical pro/anti-Williams arguments like so many of these threads eventually descend into.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:09 PM
Hendouble,

Insularity or not, the focus goes beyond simple Americanisms. The USA has no real deficit of female champions. I'm not sure that that would be a primary reason for the response that they have gotten.

Yes, their physical presence may have something to do with it, but are they really that different? Navratilova and Graf were more muscular than the gangly Venus, and LD is taller. Still Venus never got the response that they got. Serena's muscular appearance is consistent with the physique of most of the female top class athletes that demand power.

It's race. . . .LOL!!!!!

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:16 PM
Hmm... do people want me to say that it's all race? 'Cos that's what I'm hearing...

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:30 PM
Hendouble,
Actually, that's not what I want you to say, and I'm hoping that it's not all race; however, I think quite a few people who bring up race as an issue do so fearfully and timidly.

It's so easy to point to subtle, abstract reasons for a negative response. The majority of the people cling to those subtle, abstract reasons. Why do you think that, you, who I regard as a rather intelligent poster posed reasons such as culture, class, physique and attitude as reasons for a negative response but only glossed over the issue of race. Even when you agreed with some of the notions of the article, you went on to say that the article - not the actual racists- are the ones who are being extreme.

Your points are all valid, as usual, but "minorities" try to get people to understand that oftentimes negativity comes from what is historically obvious.

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:41 PM
Yes, I suppose I did, but then I reasoned that so many people have already debated the racism issue that I thought it might be useful to add some other possible reasons. I do think that subtle, abstract reasons are the cause of many evils in life - in fact, I could even suggest that racism towards the Williams sisters is a subtle, abstract form of racism, if that doesn't sound too complacent and condescending. It probably does, I know, but to use an earlier analogy somewhere in this thread, I don't think these issues are always black and white.

Pureracket
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:47 PM
Nice post.

whiteplains
Jul 31st, 2003, 08:57 PM
I have a proposal...anyone who is not Black and has never been Black and has never experienced "Black Racism" vacate the thread right now...:)

-You can't know it, until you have lived it-

Hendouble
Jul 31st, 2003, 09:18 PM
Maybe not, but I can at least try and offer my opinion on the issue. It's not as though I ever said I had a conclusive explanation, none of us have. Those of us who aren't black have not experienced black racism - yes, but by the same token you are not Venus or Serena. They're the ones who have experienced what the writer is talking about, not any of us on here.