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.


Andy Roddick: Tennis Hottie Has Uncommon Courage

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:


Sam Riddle Schools the Williams Sisters on Discrimination

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.

17 Responses

“…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)”
Well said Debbie, and spot on why you are the SEXIEST person on the internet–male or female—would to G-d, that we’d see more like you out there!

BB on February 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Pardon me, but when have the Williams sisters ever spoken out on racism or otherwise been racial activists? I think that a lot of people attribute the race baiting of the Williams sisters’ father Richard to the whole family. I do not recall the Williams sisters themselves, or even their mother Oracene, complaining of racism or of fighting any other racial battles.
If there are examples of Venus and Serena Williams playing the race card or being racial activists, cite them. Holding them responsible for the actions and statements for their father is merely an excuse for your “I’ve never liked the hypocritical, selfish Williams sisters.”
The truth is that most blacks are indeed like the Williams women (again, not only Venus and Serena but their mother Oracene) in that they lack any inclinations towards social activism. Take the civil rights movement: only a tiny percentage of blacks participated. Most blacks did not march, most blacks did not boycott, most blacks did not even so much as join the NAACP. This included blacks that were very prominent and successful: educators, business owners, entertainers, etc. As a matter of fact, the upper class blacks with wealth and status were generally opposed to the civil rights movement, and the civil rights leaders made it clear that they were rebelling against them as much as they were whites!
Incidentally, speaking of whites, they behaved largely the same. The vast majority of them simply went along with Jim Crow and discrimination; didn’t lift a finger to stop it, and did not join blacks or Jews in the civil rights movement. (And by the way, not all Jews joined or supported the civil rights movement, only the radical left did.) And the same in Dubai … how many whites refused to participate because of Pe’er?
So if the Williams sisters are selfish and hypocritical, they are no more so than the 99% of the population who just accepts the world the way that it is without trying to change it. The only reason why there has ever been any expectation for the Williams sisters to be in the 1% is their race. And that, quite simply, is racist.
Again, most of the people who are bashing the Williams sisters over this are people who flat out didn’t like the Williams sisters to begin with, and are deliriously happy when they can latch onto something to justify it. You know, people like you.
So the real question is the source of your animus against the Williams sisters prior to now. They are not political activists, and they don’t say or do anything controversial that anyone outside of tennis would care. Sure, they’re jerks, but the world of professional athletics in general and tennis specifically is filled with them. And as for their refusal to renounce the statements of their father: why? To please people like you, who are already predisposed to hating their guts and will just find some other reason to bash them? Just like the folks who keep raising their refusal to play at Indian Wells … don’t they have the right to play wherever they want for whatever reason they want? Further, there are lots of events that the Williams sisters skip other than Indian Wells, and the plenty of other players skip Indian Wells also.
Seriously, you really are coming off like just another conservative white person who hops on any reason to bash a successful black person – especially a black person in a field where not a lot of blacks succeed – not named Clarence Thomas. And it certainly does not justify your level of viciousness and bitterness and personal attacks (claiming that they look like men, knowing full well that such is common for female athletes), especially since this Dubai thing with banning Jews has been going on for years. It would be one thing if the Williams sisters had blamed the Dubai policy on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians like Time Magazine and the rest of the media, but quite the contrary, they stated that the policy was wrong and that they were working towards getting it reversed. So rather than being anti – Semitic or supporting anti – Semitism, they merely refused to take the path that you thought appropriate.
Again, in that, they are no different from lots of other people, including blacks. There was a huge debate within the black community during the civil rights movement whether to challenge the system from the outside or work for change within it. Initially, it was the classic conservative – leftist debate between Booker T. Washington and his followers versus that of the atheist communist W.E.B. Du Bois. Washington would have told the Williams sisters to go play, the loathsome Du Bois (who was very friendly with communist Jews) would have told them to boycott. Further, it wasn’t just liberals who had the Booker T. Washington position. As a matter of fact, its most famous adherent was Thurgood Marshall, who loathed the civil rights movement and often criticized its leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Marshall felt that civil disobedience would soon become more disobedient than civil and do major harm to respect for our systems of law and order, and as a result do more harm to the country – including black people – than segregation itself by undermining our institutions. After all, the civil rights movement WAS a radical leftist subversive movement led and funded by socialists and communists designed to undermine American institutions. A lot of people seem to ignore that fact. (Incidentally, Clarence Thomas feels the same way.) Looking at the results, it would appear that Booker T. Washington, Thurgood Marshall, and the other “work within the system” black leaders were proven right by history, as our institutions are currently a mess, especially in the black community, which is a lot better at boycotting institutions than building or running them.
But the very idea that most blacks were these radicals who would boycott or fight the system every time there was a perceived or real injustice to themselves or anyone else is absurd. Along with it is the idea that a person should be expected to do any more precisely because they are black. Even had the Williams sisters been complaining about racism as you falsely claim, how hypocritical would it make them? Plenty of blacks complain about racism and still vote, work, go to church and school etc. In order to “not be hypocritical”, what should they do? Withdraw their children from the “institutionally racist” public schools? Not deal with “institutionally racist” banks?
But the truth is, you don’t care about any of that stuff. All you want to do is trash the Williams sisters because of your prior disdain for them. So who cares. By the way, the top black male tennis player, James Blake, hasn’t pulled out of Dubai or said squat about it. But he is not the target of your ire. Why? Because he isn’t successful. The guy hasn’t won a major and has to his credit 10 career wins in 12 years as a pro, most of them in minor events. But you have no reason to hate Blake or find him selfish and hypocritical, because he doesn’t offend you with his success.

healtheland on February 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

My admiration for Andy, as a sportsman and as an American, has increased ten times.

Alert on February 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Debbie, AR happens to live/own a home in a heavily Jewish area. Maybe some of the Yiddishkeit has rubbed off on him. As for the rest of the pros, they are probably a lot like most people, for whom ant-Semitism is a bit of a joke, in that it targets individuals they see as rich and powerful, and perhaps deserving of abuse.

Anonymous1 on February 22, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I don’t know if this means anything but the Williams sisters are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t know the full teachings of JWs, but I know they are not to take a political stance on anything. They don’t register to vote and really are about as apolitical as you can get. Having said that, whether the Williams sisters are devout practicing members of their faith is a different story. I have met many JWs and they are very strong in their beliefs of being non-political, some say “cult-like”. If they cite their religious beliefs for staying in the tournament then that must be respected.

californiascreaming on February 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Andy Roddick lives in Austin, Texas. We all look like that down here in Austin, except for Matthew McConaughey.

barrypopik on February 23, 2009 at 1:28 am

“If they cite their religious beliefs for staying in the tournament then that must be respected.”
I disagree. What is moral is independent of the individual teachings of ones religion. This is something human beings know intuitively. If my religion says to kill people, it does not make it okay. If my religion says to enslave people, it is not okay. And if my religion says to sit idly by while others are unjustly discriminated against, though it’s not as severe as the first two cases, it’s still not okay.
Immoral ideas should not be respected just because they have a religion backing them. They are just as wrong as if an atheist espouses them, perhaps more so, since at least the atheist isn’t claiming God’s authority.
Even the most religious Christians and Jews don’t follow the letter of the law of the Bible, because they rightly realize that commandments like stoning people for minor infractions are unacceptable – and these are people who believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.
Islam is the only major religion where its members carry out the full text of their commandments, and they are the most barbaric people on earth. No one gives them a pass because it’s their religion, nor should they.

LibertarianBulbasaur on February 23, 2009 at 1:32 am

It’s sad to say that it’s refreshing to see normal principled people like Roddick and Riddle in this day and age of selfishness and greed.

Shy Guy on February 23, 2009 at 2:13 am

He looks kind of dorky to me, but what Roddick did is commendable—shouldn’t have been ANY pro-tennis players there—i’m sure Arthur Ashe would’ve boycotted it to if he was still alive and playing!

EminemsRevenge on February 23, 2009 at 8:04 am

“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.
What insight Sam has, to see how the issue of discrimination has flipped-flopped and morphed in an entirely new way. And now, his readiness to address the issue in a creative, and gentle way.
Although Debbie will never admit it, her continued declarations of new Judenrein at these tournaments has brought down unfavourable focus on these sponsored tennis events.
On the hosts. On the sponsors. The players. The WTA, itself.
All appear to be tainted and uglyÖonly in varying degrees.
And self-serving.
Not as quickly as you would like, Debbie, I knowÖbut you are making inroads ~

The Canadien on February 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

The WTA are talking tough now.
Hot off the presses, WTA Tour chairman Larry Scott declared,
“These (WTA) actions are also intended to send a clear message that our tour will not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and that we will NEVER ALLOW this situation to happen again, in the UAE or elsewhere.”

The Canadien on February 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm

To healtheland: Hogging the comments section DOES NOT MAKE YOU CORRECT. My very unradical unleft parents were deeply involved in the civil rights movement. They were not exceptions. Within the poor logic of your comments is a gross mischaracterization of good people – an insult to the memory of my parents and people like them.
In some ways I am glad many of these people are not alive to see the hate and anti-Semitism rampant in the African-American community today. I bet you were not alive during the civil rights movement and you believe re-written history that allows you to hate and deny all of the people invovled their humanity.

crazycatkids on February 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Speaking of “mischaracterization”, where exactly are you getting your information about the “hate and antisemitism” that is “rampant” in the African American community today???
I’m African American and yes, there is hate and antisemitism in our community. But no more so than in any other “community”. And if you look at the murder/crime rates in certain segments of the African American community, most of our hate is directed toward each other, not Jews or other folks.
Being “African American”, I can honestly say that I rarely hear any converation with Jews being the topic unless we’re in Sunday School and studying the Israelites of the Bible. The last conversation I personally had concerning Jews was a friend of mine telling me that Black entrepreneurs need to start their own financial institutions such as the Jews did when they were purposely locked out of the financial industry in the early part of the 20th Century (and not by Black folks).
If folks would focus on how people in America live day to day and not focus on sensationalist news stories and agenda-driven Websites in which sporadic incidents and race-baiters get all attention and the press, then maybe we wouldn’t get all of these claims of “rampant hate and antisemitism”, no matter who the race or ethnic group.
When I surf the Web and see the hundreds of Anti-Semitic Websites, I’ve come across very few if any started or run by African Americans.
Although I do strongly disagree with some of healtheland’s points, I would hardly classify what he wrote as “hate” as you did. To call it that is being just as reactionary as Rev. Jesse and Rev. Al (and I’ve been seeing more and more of that lately).
However, I agree with healtheland when he says that the Williams sisters have never been political or particularly activist. And healheland is also correct when he asserts that the vast majority of Black folks did not participate in the Civil Rights movement and that Thurgood Marshall was indeed strongly against the marching and civil disobedience aspects of it (like any lawyer, he believed in the power of the courts). However, unlike healtheland, I believe the birth and strength of the Civil Rights movement was in the Black Church, not in socialism and communism.

JibberJabber on February 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I hope Andy Roddick is revered for doing the right thing- tell us who his sponsors are – I want to support then. Could you also tell us who sponsors the tour and the Williams sisters. Andy you are a first class act. I am so proud of a real champion and true sportsman.

tate on February 24, 2009 at 1:40 am

Debbie, you have a way of finding heroes in our world and I thank you for bringing them to our attention. I never had heard of Sam Riddle or Andy Roddick before reading this entry. Thank God we still have a few strong, moral people in our society. Shame on the Williamses. They have no excuse for what they are doing.

BanishThem on February 25, 2009 at 11:38 am

I remember reading your post about this issue a few years back…
Wild how some things don’t change, thank gd this time rational, commendable people (such as Tennis Channel, ISRAM World Tours and yes 1 tennis player) took a stand for human rights and democracy. It is time to speak out against blatant anti-Israel / anti-Semitic acts.
Why when we say Never Again does it mean nothing? I have read many of the comments to this site and it really makes me question the human race. Apathy is not a quality I possess.
I respect that something was said by V Williams, but all I kept thinking was what if she was denied from playing? I would be shocked if Israeli players immediately (and then American ones) did not pull out!
Some more interesting comments to read after this article…

Alip18 on February 26, 2009 at 3:15 am

Andy Roddick, one of the world’s greatest tennis players, may not be a Jew, but his late, great agent, Ken Meyerson was. (Meyerson was also the agent for Chris Evert, Justine Henin, Jimmy Conners, and legendary players.) Meyerson died in 2011 at a very young age. On the news of Meyerson’s passing, Roddick wrote: “I love you and miss you. I will be forever grateful for your faith & loyalty. You will forever be my brother. As always ‘thanks Meyerson.'”

Roddick is also a very generous person. He has donated millions of dollar to many charities over the years.

Ralph Adamo on August 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm

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