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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

…was the day he died, for me anyway. I know a lot of people here are too young to remember him, but Ashe was a true sportsman, gentleman and activist for social justice. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia at a time when segregation was an institutional reality in the US South, and could easily have been bitter and resentful. If he was, he never showed it publicly.

He was denied a visa by the South Africa to play in their open and used the event to help bring world attention to Apartheid. He contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion and died in February of 1993. Along the way, he won three GS events: US, Australian and Wimbledon, in a shocking win over the then “unbeatable” Jimmy Connors.

There are not many public figures for whom I have great respect, and damn few whose passing I mourn, but Ashe was certainly one of them.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

from the footage I have seen of him talking, it seems he was a great person, and carried himself gracefully, it really sucks how he died from a blood transfusion(basically)... I have heard in interviews of the people that knew him that he really didn' carry any resentment and acted the same on comera as off. They say jackie robinson was teh same way in how he carried himself off the baseball field...
BTW did he get to play in South Africa, and did other players boycotted the tournament?

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 06:09 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

The saddest part is the way he caught it; none of his own doing
A great man by all means, one of the funders of the present ATP. He will always be well remembered for his stance against racism and his determined will that brought him 3 slams.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 06:10 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

He wasn't a saint (I was surprised to learn how unsupportive, even antagonistic, he was to the women trying to form the WTA tour), but ultimately he did an enormous amount of good for the world. And the way he carried himself was so dignified.

That Connors win was very impressive. It knocked down stereotypes left and right.

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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

Some interesting footage of Ashe:

1971 Australian Open final with Rosewall: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HzPuG5HWGmI

Post-match on-court interviews: http://youtube.com/watch?v=TaDsH6FCrlI

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 07:53 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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BTW did he get to play in South Africa, and did other players boycotted the tournament?
All I know is that he was not allowed to play in 1970 and publicly denouced apartheid after he was refused. Later on (even after his playing days were over) he helped to organize a group of athletes and entertainers that refused to play in South Africa as a stand against apartheid.

I always think of him during Wimbledon because when I was little he was in the broadcast booth for HBO's coverage.

Thanks for the footage 'Q!

I like a lot of players.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 10:36 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

I'm guessing everyone knows this, but his widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy, put up a website last week honoring his legacy.

ArthurAshe.org.

It's pretty cool.

Also, if you're so inclined, I wrote up a little sumin-sumin last summer about Ashe's relationship with South Africa, based on De Villiers ambitions to bring tennis back into the country and the partnership of the ATP with SAA.

Ironically, I'm in the process of re-reading "Days of Grace" right now (for the third time actually). Ashe truly lived, as the title suggests, a graceful life. FWIW, that was bred into him very carefully by his coach, Whirlwind Johnson, and made him the man of character he always projected.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 11:41 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

Anyone who has Nytimes.com Select (R. Federer?) should post the Arthur Ashe article published this week.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 11:50 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

Legacy of Ashe Receives a Breath of New Life

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
10 February 2007
The New York Times
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved.

CORRECTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES Tue Feb 13 2007

''Time flies,'' Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe said earlier this week.

I didn't realize that her husband, Arthur Ashe Jr., had died 14 years ago. It seemed like yesterday I was speaking with Arthur about some project or some incident involving an athlete. It seemed like yesterday when hundreds sat in the cavernous Cathedral of St. John the Divine, listening to a parade of mourners pay tribute to Ashe, who died at 49 on Feb. 6, 1993, after a battle with AIDS.

''It's really, really hard to believe myself,'' Moutoussamy-Ashe said. ''Time is just flying by.''

Thanks to technology -- and to Ashe's widow -- time stands still, and we can remember Ashe the tennis champion, the humanitarian, the educator. Earlier this week, Moutoussamy-Ashe used the anniversary of Ashe's death to unveil a fantastic, interactive Web site, arthurashe.org, designed to commemorate her husband's spirit. For those who knew him, the site offers familiar images, though some of the material has never been released. More than that, it is designed to introduce younger generations to core values that shaped Ashe's life: education, responsibility, leadership.

The Web site is the result of a 10-year journey, which finally came to fruition with the help of Merrill Lynch, that succeeds in making Ashe come alive. We hear his words and his perspectives on topics as diverse as education, protest and AIDS. He offers this gem on tennis:

''There are lessons that one can learn out there all by yourself on the tennis court: There are no substitutions, no time outs and no coaches. You have to really learn to depend upon yourself, you have to learn to become self sufficient. You have to learn how to make instantaneous decisions that are going to affect the result of the rest of that match. Life is like that.''

Keeping history alive and bringing history to life are difficult tasks. What seems so intense to one generation often seems like fiction to another. Earlier this week, I was on a television program with Tommie Smith, the great sprinter who raised a clenched fist along with John Carlos during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

Earlier that year, Ashe had become the first African-American to win a major tennis title when he won the United States Open.

Some of the producers and directors on the show had no idea who Smith was. Fans may be more familiar with Ashe because the stadium where the United States Open finals are played is named in his honor.

Moutoussamy-Ashe's goal is to make the Web site an engaging way for people, especially young people, to learn about what her husband stood for.

''I want to bring him to life on those computers so he's not just bricks and mortar,'' she said.

Moutoussamy-Ashe has larger plans for the site: She wants to bring Ashe to life by way of animation. ''I can see children playing interactive games with him,'' she said. ''It'll be a safe place for them to come, for them to understand the important aspects of his legacy about education and learning, and doing it by simulating his voice and simulating the footage that I have, making him like an animated character but doing it with his voice. It's a way of engaging the things I love to do with helping the legacy.

''People so appreciated remembering him, not just by reading things or seeing things, but hearing his voice about his own story and talking about his issues.''

Beyond the historical importance of Ashe's Web site, what I find compelling is his wife's determination to define Ashe's life and legacy rather than leave it to others. More athletes should think about doing this while they are playing, and many have, especially at a time when athletes are increasingly complaining about their portrayal in the news media.

''That's what's so compelling to me about this site,'' she said. ''I'm not allowing anyone else to tell it. It's Arthur telling the story. Arthur was very accessible, and there's a lot of information in various places. I want to put it in once place and let people really learn about him; a virtual museum.''

I can't imagine the burden of being the widow of an American icon, especially when the icon died at a relatively young age. In some ways, the survivor becomes married to a legacy that is incomplete. Jackie Robinson was 53 when he died; Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39; Ashe was 49.

There are 24 groups and organizations that operate under the banner of Ashe's name, and each wants a piece of his widow's time. In this respect, arthurashe.org is liberating for Moutoussamy-Ashe, an accomplished photographer who has published four books of photography.

''I had for so long been involved with all of the legacy groups, and I really am not that comfortable with appearances and interviews,'' she said. ''This has really freed me up, and it's given me a form of expressing Arthur's legacy and my admiration of it.''

Arthur Ashe fit much of the criteria for what a great athlete should be. He won championships. He used his visibility to fight for causes. He educated, writing a three-volume history, ''Hard Road to Glory,'' when he discovered while preparing to teach a course that no comprehensive history of African-American athletes existed.

He marched. He picketed. He protested. He quickly became a spokesman for the fight against the disease.

Arthur died 14 years ago. Thankfully, his wife has found a way to keep his memory -- and his legacy -- in play.

Arthur Ashe Jr. lives.

Photos: Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recently unveiled an interactive Web site to honor the memory of her husband. (pg. D1); Arthur Ashe, the first African-American to win at Wimbledon, used his visibility to fight for causes. He died in 1993 after a battle with AIDS. (Photo by Associated Press, 1975)(pg. D2)

E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com

CORRECTION APPENDED

The Sports of The Times column on Saturday, about efforts by Arthur Ashe Jr.'s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, to honor his memory, referred incorrectly to one of his tennis accomplishments. In 1968, Ashe became the first African-American man to win a major tennis title, not the first African-American. Althea Gibson was the first over all, in 1956.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 11:51 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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I will post it. What is its title, and who is the author?
Legacy of Ashe Receives a Breath of New Life
By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
Published: February 10, 2007

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 11:56 PM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

He was a very thoughtful person, and if you get the chance, you might read John McPhee's Levels of the Game.---An analysis of the U.S. Open...back in--1968? Peculiarly, the semifinal match.

@ zircofirol: I think he did.* {Make it into South Africa...to play. I remember he said that he was cast as a heavy on both sides--Black and White, for his decision to play there.}

At any rate, he was the reason that Yannick Noah became a Pro Player.---He was Yannick's sponsor.

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I first got to know Arthur Ashe as an opponent. It was in the early 1970s, and Ashe was competing in South Africa. He was there because he believed he could break down the structure of the apartheid government by proving that he belonged on the tennis court.
http://espn.go.com/tennis/columns/misc/1503082.html
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However, that racket <the Head Arthur Ashe Comp I..or II?...played like a club.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 12:20 AM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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He wasn't a saint (I was surprised to learn how unsupportive, even antagonistic, he was to the women trying to form the WTA tour), but ultimately he did an enormous amount of good for the world.
Arthur Ashe is always portrayed as a saint and that's a bit much for me. He was no doubt antagonistic towards the WTA but that's all been swept under the carpet. Everyone is very hush-hush about it lest they blow Arthur's image.

The other big issue with Arthur Ashe is his relationship with that lowlife Donald Dell. Anyone who knows anything about Dell knows he is a first class money-grubbing scumbag. And Ashe was thick as thieves with him. Read former top 10 player Bill Scanlon's book BAD NEWS FOR McENROE. In Chapter 8, Scanlon delves into how Ashe essentially screwed players out of millions of dollars in prize money by having them boycott the WCT Tour, thus eliminating the competition, and helping his partner Dell who was a tournament promoter for the ATP. Read Chapter 8 (especially pgs 135-36) and you'll see that Ashe put the business intererests of his pal Donald Dell above the player's interests - all at a time where he purported to be advising the players in their best interests.

I'm not saying Ashe is the anti-Christ but he's far from the saintly human being he is always portrayed as.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 03:52 AM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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he's far from the saintly human being he is always portrayed as.
Oh well, at least your screen name is accurate.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 05:09 AM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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Oh well, at least your screen name is accurate.
I notice you didn't even attempt to contest the 2 issues Osama brought up. He happens to be accurate about both.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 10:29 AM
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Re: Arthur Ashe. The saddest day in tennis…

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Arthur Ashe is always portrayed as a saint and that's a bit much for me. He was no doubt antagonistic towards the WTA but that's all been swept under the carpet. Everyone is very hush-hush about it lest they blow Arthur's image.

The other big issue with Arthur Ashe is his relationship with that lowlife Donald Dell. Anyone who knows anything about Dell knows he is a first class money-grubbing scumbag. And Ashe was thick as thieves with him. Read former top 10 player Bill Scanlon's book BAD NEWS FOR McENROE. In Chapter 8, Scanlon delves into how Ashe essentially screwed players out of millions of dollars in prize money by having them boycott the WCT Tour, thus eliminating the competition, and helping his partner Dell who was a tournament promoter for the ATP. Read Chapter 8 (especially pgs 135-36) and you'll see that Ashe put the business intererests of his pal Donald Dell above the player's interests - all at a time where he purported to be advising the players in their best interests.

I'm not saying Ashe is the anti-Christ but he's far from the saintly human being he is always portrayed as.

your screen name says it all!
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