As we enter Black History Month it is clear that we must remain vigilant in the continued quest for equality for people of color. This past September (2012) the USTA created another controversy when they suggested that world number one 16 year old Girls singles champion Taylor Townsend skip the US Open event for which she qualified for and work on conditioning. She is being trained under the USTA Player Development Program.
Initially they said that If she did not withdraw from the event that they would not pay for her expenses. Her mother wold have none of this and came up with the expense money for her to compete in the tournament. She got to the quarter finals in singles and won the doubles event with her partner. How could she reach being number one without stamina and conditioning? Oh she happens to be African American. In a later statement after the tournament Patrick McEnroe, General Manager of the program issued a statement that this was not the case and USTA under Player Development would be picking up her expenses for the tournament.
Having worked on the USTA Minority Participation Committee at its inception in the early 1990's now changed to Multicultural Participation Committee, I can identify with some of the archaic and out of date thinking of some long time entrenched closed minded people within the organization. As in other parts of society African Americans continue to be undervalued, underestimated and marginalized.