Monday, April 06, 2009

Thoughtful Venus

I have had my issues in the past with the Williams sisters (and their father!), but I think Venus Williams has really become a thoughtful person. This seems like a mundane and/or abstract statement. But I think it's unusual among professional athletes and it's especially unusual among female athletes to be thoughtful about issue like gender equity.

But this brief interview the elder Williams sister did with a Charleston paper reflects her awareness of the world beyond tennis. And all that crap the sisters have gotten over the years for allegedly not being dedicated to their sport and too "distracted" by outside interests is just that--crap. In addition to the fact that they did not have the sheltered privileged tennis childhood of many other tennis pros, they have not lead a sheltered adult life either.

I was especially impressed with her answer about why there are not more American women at the top of the rankings. Her response did not contribute to the general panic I hear in the voices of most commentators. She basically said, look, there are a lot of options for young people in the US, education for example. They do other things. And, by the way, there are young players who are good and there will be another wave, at some point, of dominant American women.

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