February 22, 2009, - 3:00 pm
Dubai Judenrein Tennis Update: And the New Hottest Tennis Player in the World is . . .; Prominent Black Who Fought for Tennis Equal Rights Disses Williamses
By Debbie Schlussel
Dubai was fined $300,000 over refusing a visa to Jewish Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er to play in last week’s Dubai Tennis Championships tourney. Big whoop. That’s not how you punish the gazillionaires of Dubai, for whom this payment is a drop in the bucket and the cost of doing (anti-Semitic) business. (For them, this is probably the cost of one night’s rental of their harem.) You punish them by canceling the tournament and pulling it for the next year, too, and so on and so forth. I guess we could call this the Hitler fine. Easy to pay, not a big deal.
Meanwhile, at least one person–sadly, only one–has the real courage the cowardly tennis world needs in this matter.
And the new hottest tennis player in the world is . . . Andy Roddick. No, not because of his good looks (which he, indeed, has), but because of his uncommon courage (which, to me, is a whole lot sexier). Roddick pulled out of Dubai’s Judenrein Dubai Tennis Championships and objected to what was done with the rejection of Shahar Pe’er.
U.S. star Andy Roddick said he wouldn’t defend his Dubai title next week.
“I really didn’t agree with what went on over there. I don’t know if it’s the best thing to mix politics and sports, and that was probably a big part of it,” Roddick said.
Roddick won the Dubai tournament last year, and is foregoing likely prize money and points in the tennis rankings by skipping Dubai. Good for him. He has the cojones the rest of the men in the Dubai tourney, including Israeli Andy Ram (who was given a visa and is now playing in this Judenrein country’s tennis minstrel show), do not.
And, for the record, no, Andy Roddick is not Jewish. But he is, indeed, regardless of his religion (and perhaps especially since he is not a Jew and stood up for Jews), a hero in my book.
And finally, there are the comments of my friend, prominent Detroit-based Black national political advisor and consultant Sam Riddle, who takes on the Williams Sisters for their continued play in the Judenrein tennis tournament. Sam was instrumental in fighting for the civil rights of Blacks in the tennis world, and he sees this issue similarly. Here’s the courageous press release Sam sent out:
Rights Advocate Sam Riddle Slams Williams Sisters For Dubai Play
The man that helped orchestrate the first congressional hearing on discrimination in sports is slamming Venus and Serena Williams for participating in the Dubai Tennis Championships after Israeli Shahar Peer was denied a visa to Dubai.
Sam Riddle, a veteran political consultant based in Detroit says that it was the ultimate irony and height of hypocrisy for the Williams sisters to participate in Dubai when their family has been so outspoken against racism.
“To those of us of color, discrimination in any form is wrong. When Shahar Peer was denied a visa to Dubai to participate in the Dubai Tennis Championships, that was a denial founded on the fact that Peer is Jewish and an Israeli citizen. That is wrong. Venus and Serena were uniquely positioned to let the world know that they stand strong against such discrimination. They should have withdrawn from the tournament and refused to play in Dubai as Andy Roddick did”, said Riddle.
Riddle said he will send Venus and Serena copies of the Congressional Record of the Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Employment Opportunities of the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, One Hundredth Congress, Second Session, Oversight Hearing on Discrimination in Tennis held in Washington, DC, October 6, 1988.
Riddle thanks Congressman Dale Kildee (D-Michigan) and Riddle’s client, William Washington–the father of University of Michigan tennis star [DS: and former champion tennis pro] Malivai Washington–for working to ensure that the historical congressional hearing occurred.
“Shortly after the hearing the USTA opened the doors in a big way for minority participation. Back then, we had to take on apologists for the institutional racist policies of the USTA. Now it is the Williams sisters that have a steep learning curve. The Williams benefited from our politics of confrontation and now they must develop priorities other than the anti Semitic policies of those that sponsored the Dubai tournament”, said Riddle.
RIGHT ON, SAM! Courage, today, is rare, but with those who embody it, it is present in spades.