What (some) players have to say on Althea Gibson [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What (some) players have to say on Althea Gibson

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 01:41 AM
Roger Federer:

Q. What do you know about Althea Gibson?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. You're putting me on the spot. I don't know what you're talking about.

Q. She's being honored tonight.
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing, to be honest. It's before my time. Isn't much I can really say about it. I don't know, I'm sorry.

Scoville Jenkins

Q. You're playing a match before a ceremony to honor Althea Gibson. Do you have any thoughts on her, what she did for the sport, you playing in the wake of that?

SCOVILLE JENKINS: I mean, anybody who's remarkable like her, come up, probably changed the sport for African Americans, it's unbelievable. For what you have to face going into this world. For me to play on this day, it's very special for me. I'm very lucky to be playing today.

Donald Young

Q. Tonight Venus and Serena are going to be out there to honor Althea Gibson. Were Serena and Venus role models for you? If so, how?

DONALD YOUNG: For African American tennis, definitely. But they're women and I play like the men's. But, yeah, for sure, definitely for tennis and everything, they've been awesome. Without them I don't think that many people would want to play.
Everybody wants to play. When someone talks about it, they say Venus or Serena, they want to be like them. That's what they say. That's what everybody strives for. They've won slams. Awesome.

Q. Can you remember the first time you saw them one of them play, what your reaction was?
DONALD YOUNG: I was excited to see one of them play. It has been a while since an African American played. They're awesome players. They're not just African American, but American players, too. Just overall they're great.

Q. How old were you the first time you saw them?
DONALD YOUNG: I can't remember. They've been out there a while. Before I was a teenager, for sure. I mean, 9, 10.

Q. Obviously Althea Gibson played a long time ago. Are you pleased she's going to be honored tonight? Do you know anything about her?

DONALD YOUNG: Most definitely I'm pleased. I actually did a biography about her when I was in sixth grade. Yeah, I mean, I know a lot. I can't remember it all now, but at the time I was really into it.
But, yeah, definitely for her to be honored tonight is great.

Q. Do you know what you got on the biography?
DONALD YOUNG: I want to say it was an A. I don't really remember, but I would like to say it's an A (smiling).

Venus Williams

Q. Big night obviously. Good way to start. All those figures out there on the court, winning on a night like this, what did it mean for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it was definitely a tough act to follow in a way. Just watching the whole hour of entertainment, the whole story, I got to be part of the story, too, it was really moving.
It's like, okay, Williams can't lose tonight. That's not part of the plan. It's supposed to be an all American win tonight.
You know, I was definitely thinking that. But it was amazing. It was awesome to see all the women. When I came out of the locker room they were all lined up. When you walk out of the locker room, you're walking, you're concentrated, then there are all the women this. It was just exciting because for that second I was just enjoying the moment.

Q. How many of them had you met before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I know Traci Green. Obviously I know Zina. I've met Jackie Joyner Kersee when I was 13. Yolanda Adams, I love her. Other than that, Phylicia Rashad, yes, I know her. Aretha, I've met her. I did know a few.

Q. What did it feel like to be around that kind of power?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it was amazing, just the energy of all the smiles, the well wishes. They all were wishing me so well. Just good things. Just the power of the spirit in Althea, the things she went through, and knowing it's people like her that gave us an opportunity to be here today.
That all these women lined up here are because of women like Althea, and we all really are living up to that, it's amazing.

Q. Since you and your sister have come on the scene, what do you think your impact has been in tennis, the African American community in particular?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely think there's a lot more African Americans coming to tennis. I always see a lot of people coming, a lot more African Americans watch tennis. So I definitely have seen a lot more faces in terms of that.
But, I mean, I'm not out there every day in the community, so I can't see on a grassroots level exactly what's happening.

Q. There aren't that many on the tour. The same correlation goes with the PGA TOUR. Tiger Woods has been around about the same amount of time a you. There aren't any other African American players on the PGA TOUR. Why do you think that is?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think it's a tough, tough game to get into. Probably in the community there aren't as many people to play against. There aren't older people who teach as much. I'm not exactly sure, but I definitely think I definitely probably should be more hands on with trying to do more.
But a lot of times it's tough just to be in the tournament, fulfill my commitments to the WTA and to the fans. I've definitely been thinking about that this year, how I can get more involved. I think I definitely will.

Q. Golovin has been beaten by Ahsha.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've never really seen her play before, Ahsha that. Obviously it's a wonderful win for her, obviously a great night to do it with Althea Gibson tribute. It's good for American tennis. But I don't know her game very well.

Q. I spoke with Mr. Richard Williams outside regarding the significance of Althea Gibson's accomplishments. How did that influence your attitude, perhaps your performance tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, like I said, I was really motivated because this was a night that the Williamses need to win. What's the score for Serena? 3 All. I guess the girl is playing well.
Serena has a never say die spirit. I felt really motivated to definitely bring in the win because of the whole night.

Serena Williams

Q. It was a special night with the tribute to Althea Gibson. What do you think yourself and Venus' contributions have been for African Americans and for the game of tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I never think about it. I know every time I step out on the court I play for me and I play for all the other little African American kids out there who have a dream and who might not have the means, like myself and my sisters didn't growing up.

I feel like I play for them, too, and let them know if they fight hard and if they work hard, more than anything, your dreams can come true, whether you want to be a tennis player or a singer. You just have to work hard at it. I believe if they have a positive role model, they can do it.

Q. If you look at the pro ranks, there doesn't seem to be that many African American players coming up behind you just yet. The same can be said for the PGA TOUR with Tiger Woods' impact. Why do you think that is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I can't answer that. I really can't answer that.


Q. Roger Federer said earlier tonight when someone asked him about Althea Gibson, he said it was before his time, he didn't know who we were talking about. Does that make tonight more important to educate some more of the players on tour as to just who she was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. I can't imagine he didn't know who Althea Gibson was.

Q. That's what he said.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Which I think is the point. I think a lot of people don't know who she is, and they always say Arthur Ashe, Arthur Ashe. People forget that Althea Gibson was actually years, decades before Arthur Ashe. I think it's important to have nights like this so you can teach young people that don't know who they are.

Q. Venus couldn't quite remember, sometimes your memory is better, but do you remember the first time you talked to Althea? Did she give you any special words?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I remember I talked to her after I won here in '99. I just remember her saying something to the gist of like she finally was able to see a black person win a Grand Slam. I remember her saying that. She didn't say that verbatim, but that was basically what she said. I was so happy at the time. I was so excited to talk to her. Yeah, it was a great moment.

Jelena Jankovic
Q. On opening night Monday Althea Gibson will be honored. Do you know anything about her and the role she played in tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know much about her. I was young when she was playing, so I don't really know much about her.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 01:43 AM
I'm sure Venus & Serena will have comments that I will add here. It's a bit unsettling that Roger doesn't know more. I wish the reporters would have asked more players, not just black players. It would have been nice if the USTA provided a bio so that players like Roger and others could give informed statements, but from what I'm gathering, the USTA doesn't do much :shrug:


DY's comments are the most interesting.

Edited to add article:

The New York Times
Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

August 28, 2007
U.S. Open
After a Trailblazer Is Honored, Williams Carries on Her Legacy
By LYNN ZINSER

On her way to the court on opening night of the United States Open, Venus Williams seemed momentarily flummoxed. In the hallway from the locker room at Arthur Ashe Stadium, she was greeted yesterday by an array of stars, an eye-popping lineup of African-American women who came to honor the tennis icon Althea Gibson. Williams paused to kiss Jackie Joyner-Kersee, to say hello to Roberta Flack, seeming as if she wanted to hug every one of them.

For a rare moment near a tennis court, Williams seemed overwhelmed.

“I didn’t expect that,” Williams said. “I wanted to stop and say hello to everyone.”

The tennis part of the evening posed little in the way of a challenge for Williams, who turned the qualifier Kira Nagy into little more than a stage prop. Williams pummeled Nagy’s very first serve crosscourt for a winner and cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory that also featured Williams ripping a record 129-mile-an-hour serve in the second game.

“I am so excited to get that record,” Williams said.

The entire match — which was followed by her sister Serena taking on Angelique Kerber — took only 54 minutes, several minutes shorter than the opening-night ceremony that honored Gibson.

That came on the 50th anniversary of Gibson’s becoming the first African-American woman to win the United States National Championships, the tournament that would become the Open.

Gibson, who died in 2003, was inducted into the Open’s Court of Champions. On hand to honor her was a lineup of African-American pioneers that included Olympic stars like Joyner-Kersee (two-time heptathlon gold medalist), Debi Thomas (first to win a winter Olympic medal, in figure skating) and Vonetta Flowers (first to win a winter Olympic gold medal, in bobsled). The accomplishments stretched outside sports, to Dr. Mae Jemison, who was the first African-American female astronaut, and Carol Moseley Braun, the first to be elected to the United States Senate.

Taking special pride in the evening, though, was Zina Garrison, who is the first African-American woman to win an Olympic tennis gold medal, but someone who also provides tennis’s bridge from Gibson to the Williams sisters.

As a 15-year-old budding star, Garrison attended a tennis camp that had Gibson as the host. Gibson promptly told Garrison that she was not working nearly hard enough to become a professional player.

It was the kind of advice Garrison later passed along to the Williams sisters, whom she helped coach for a time and now watches with great pride. Garrison said she remained close to Gibson to the end of her life and was saddened that the honor did not come while Gibson was alive.

“I think we really needed to appreciate someone like her, not just as an African-American but as a strong woman, period,” Garrison said. “Because of the barriers that she broke, she broke barriers for women, period.”

Before Venus Williams played in her first final here, in 1997, Gibson had come to speak to her and wish her good luck. Last night, Venus said she watched the ceremony on television in the locker room waiting for her match.

“It was very special and emotional,” she said. “I just wanted to come out and live up to Althea’s legacy.”

The careers of the Williams sisters have often been interrupted by injury in recent years, but they remain two of the Open’s favorite stars. The crowd last night included Janet Jackson and Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson.

Venus Williams comes into the tournament seeded 12th, the result of an injury-plagued year but one that still had moments of brilliance. A year ago, she was merely a spectator at the Open, sitting out with an injury to her left wrist. This year, she bounced back to win Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career but was forced to pull out of a recent tournament in Toronto with tendinitis in her knee.

There was a momentary scare in last night’s opening match, when Venus slipped and skidded to the court trying to change direction. She quickly got up, bounced a bit on her ankle and continued to overpower Nagy.

The crowd rose to celebrate her victory, including the women who had come to honor Gibson and stayed to cheer two of the players who carry on her legacy.

“I’ve known them since they were 7 and 8 years old, so it’s like watching kids grow up,” Garrison said of the Williams sisters. “It’s just so amazing. The good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the one thing they’ve done is stay true to themselves. I think that’s what Althea stood for, being true to herself.”


Photos from Yahoo.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070828/capt.8cad5cca54374f2d9cc3d81f45c2c414.us_open_tenn is_uso184.jpg

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/photo?slug=58f4e26272674e6889157c11493f4e84.us_ope n_tennis_uso185&prov=ap

bluefork
08-28-2007, 01:57 AM
I'm sure Venus & Serena will have comments that I will add here. It's a bit unsettling that Roger doesn't know more. I wish the reporters would have asked more players, not just black players. It would have been nice if the USTA provided a bio so that players like Roger and others could give informed statements, but from what I'm gathering, the USTA doesn't do much :shrug:


DY's comments are the most interesting.

But you would expect Americans (especially black Americans) to know more about her than a Swiss guy, no? And isn't there kind of already a thread about this?

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:01 AM
But you would expect Americans (especially black Americans) to know more about her than a Swiss guy, no? And isn't there kind of already a thread about this?
Well, that was a troll thread about Roger's statements. This is about how players responded to the question.

Like I said, there should have been a media bio given out to the players. I think that would have been the best thing the USTA could do in light of a big celebration tonight.

I don't know much about AG's personal life. Was she ever married or had kids? Will there be relatives there?

Viken01
08-28-2007, 02:08 AM
But you would expect Americans (especially black Americans) to know more about her than a Swiss guy, no? And isn't there kind of already a thread about this?


I didn't know her before right now to be honest... But like you said I think he is European and don't know much about an old American player especially a woman.
People can't blame him for that. :)

nobama
08-28-2007, 02:09 AM
:zzz:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:12 AM
Boy, these black boys sure sound like they have their answers memorized down pat. Once again America has cured racism.

Heil Bush.

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:15 AM
I didn't know her before right now to be honest... But like you said I think he is European and don't know much about an old American player especially a woman.
People can't blame him for that. :)

Right. And she's not even the best of her contemporaries. Maureen Connolly won more Grand Slam titles than Gibson, and she won the Grand Slam in 1953. But she didn't get honored for this achievement at the USO in 2003. This is ceremony was more about what Althea Gibson did for black Americans than for what she did in tennis. And that's fine, but I wouldn't expect Federer or any of the other Europeans to have much to say about her.

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:19 AM
Boy, these black boys sure sound like they have their answers memorized down pat. Once again America has cured racism.

Heil Bush.

Come on, now. Say what you want about Bush, but he's not the one responsible for these coached answers.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:20 AM
Come on, now. Say what you want about Bush, but he's not the one responsible for these coached answers.

Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

Beforehand
08-28-2007, 02:21 AM
Roger probably isn't wildly versed on the second (if that)-layer of the American civil rights movement, and I think I'm OK with that.

Maybe if it were someone like Dr. Martin Luther King, I'd be somewhat concerned, but even then, I can't say for sure exactly how much it would or wouldn't matter.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:22 AM
:zzz:
http://www.scaryman.com/daclub/images/smiles/orlyanim.gif



Wake up! It's the Open :p

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:23 AM
Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

Because poor Donald Young came from a disadvantaged neighboorhood, and if we had just thrown some more money at him, he'd be more articulate? Maybe I don't get what you're saying.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:25 AM
Roger probably isn't wildly versed on the second (if that)-layer of the American civil rights movement, and I think I'm OK with that.

Maybe if it were someone like Dr. Martin Luther King, I'd be somewhat concerned, but even then, I can't say for sure exactly how much it would or wouldn't matter.

Roger Federer actually doesn't know much about anything. He didn't even know about the Iraq War a few years ago when asked...


I just thought he'd be at least prepped for the AG question. Reminds me of Capriati's non-answer to Title 9 :tape:

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:31 AM
Roger Federer actually doesn't know much about anything. He didn't even know about the Iraq War a few years ago when asked...


I just thought he'd be at least prepped for the AG question. Reminds me of Capriati's non-answer to Title 9 :tape:

Would you rather that Federer is fed a "politically correct" answer before his press conference, rather than just answering honestly that he doesn't know much about Althea Gibson. I like Roger because he isn't trying to be anything more than the simple Swiss guy that he is. He isn't trying to make huge social changes in the world; he's just trying to win tennis matches. He's not a saint, but he's a generally a good guy, and that's enough for me. :shrug:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:32 AM
Because poor Donald Young came from a disadvantaged neighboorhood, and if we had just thrown some more money at him, he'd be more articulate? Maybe I don't get what you're saying.

Is that what they did at your school? Threw money at you?

Allure
08-28-2007, 02:33 AM
I like the fact that Fed's a little socially and culturally ignorant. It makes me feel better about myself. :devil:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:35 AM
I like the fact that Fed's a little socially and culturally ignorant. It makes me feel better about myself. :devil:

Social and cultural ignorance doesn't hurt anyone, except for when it is yielded like a weapon.

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:37 AM
Is that what they did at your school? Threw money at you?

They dumped plenty of money into the school system that I went to, and it didn't change a thing. The root of America's education problems have less to do with funding than poor organization and poor teachers.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:38 AM
Would you rather that Federer is fed a "politically correct" answer before his press conference, rather than just answering honestly that he doesn't know much about Althea Gibson. I like Roger because he isn't trying to be anything more than the simple Swiss guy that he is. He isn't trying to make huge social changes in the world; he's just trying to win tennis matches. He's not a saint, but he's a generally a good guy, and that's enough for me. :shrug:

There is a difference between not knowing much and being hugely ignorant. AG is like the Rosa Parks of tennis. It's like RF not knowing who Rosa P---actually, he probably doesn't. Let's say, it's like he never heard of Martin Luther King. Anyway, I'm not blaming him as much as the USTA for not prepping him. He can find out she's the first Black Wimbledon & US Championships winner and just say that it's good to know this and move on to the next question.

sawan66278
08-28-2007, 02:39 AM
Listen, Roger is not...shall we say...the most well read about matters OUTSIDE of tennis. Let's not forget his quote about Mr. Freud, shall we.;)

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:41 AM
Listen, Roger is not...shall we say...the most well read about matters OUTSIDE of tennis. Let's not forget his quote about Mr. Freud, shall we.;)

And what was that :devil: :confused:

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:42 AM
There is a difference between not knowing much and being hugely ignorant. AG is like the Rosa Parks of tennis. It's like RF not knowing who Rosa P---actually, he probably doesn't. Let's say, it's like he never heard of Martin Luther King. Anyway, I'm not blaming him as much as the USTA for not prepping him. He can find out she's the first Black Wimbledon & US Championships winner and just say that it's good to know this and move on to the next question.

I wouldn't be surprised if Federer doesn't know who MLK is either. So what? I don't expect that he would know who Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson are either. They're all AMERICAN icons. He's not American.

It's a little different that he doesn't know much about Gibson because she was a tennis player. But she wasn't the best tennis player of her generation, and in all honestly, she's more famous for the road she paved for social changes in AMERICA than for her tennis. So to me, it's not a big deal at all that he doesn't know much about her.

Viken01
08-28-2007, 02:43 AM
There is a difference between not knowing much and being hugely ignorant. AG is like the Rosa Parks of tennis. It's like RF not knowing who Rosa P---actually, he probably doesn't. Let's say, it's like he never heard of Martin Luther King. Anyway, I'm not blaming him as much as the USTA for not prepping him. He can find out she's the first Black Wimbledon & US Championships winner and just say that it's good to know this and move on to the next question.


Well I should say Martin Luther King is a different story 'cause we learn his speech at school for example, he is well known in Europe. But I never heard of Rosa Parks or Althea Gibson.:shrug:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:43 AM
They dumped plenty of money into the school system that I went to, and it didn't change a thing. The root of America's education problems have less to do with funding than poor organization and poor teachers.

Those would be nice to have, but where are the good teachers going to come from? Who's going to help them with their tuition? Who is going to supply them with computers? Who is going to buy them the teaching supplies?

I think that the dumping money comment came from you and you alone. Not me.

MCL
08-28-2007, 02:45 AM
Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

:retard: Perhaps you should teach poor Young how to speak. :rolleyes:

:rolleyes: All non-black Americans are highly articulate. Examples: President George Bush and don't forget Miss Teen South Carolina :retard:

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 02:48 AM
Well, Mirka should feeding him this news, and news in general. What is she doing...


Sorry guys, I'm a bit unfocused. Tati went down in flames :bigcry:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 02:49 AM
:retard: Perhaps you should teach poor Young how to speak. :rolleyes:

:rolleyes: All non-black Americans are highly articulate. Examples: President George Bush and don't forget Miss Teen South Carolina :retard:

They aren't? It's amazing that you've figured this out all by yourself. You win a prize.

Viken01
08-28-2007, 02:50 AM
Sorry guys, I'm a bit unfocused. Tati went down in flames :bigcry:

She was out of the match, too bad she couldn't convert the BP at *4-2 :(

bluefork
08-28-2007, 02:59 AM
Those would be nice to have, but where are the good teachers going to come from? Who's going to help them with their tuition? Who is going to supply them with computers? Who is going to buy them the teaching supplies?

I think that the dumping money comment came from you and you alone. Not me.

You brought it up. You said that the U.S. is wasting money on the military (I don't necessarily disagree) when it should be putting more money into the education system. Of course, that's the simple "solution." But even if every kid in American had his own computer, most of them would still emerge from the public education system woefully ignorant because the teachers and the curriculum are so flawed. If those in the U.S. government (and all of the critics like you) truly cared about education, they would sit down and totally re-evaluate how the system functions, not just how the resources are distributed.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:00 AM
You brought it up.
You said that the U.S. is wasting money on the military (I don't necessarily disagree) when it should be putting more money into the education system. Of course, that's the simple "solution." But even if every kid in American had his own computer, most of them would still emerge from the public education system woefully ignorant because the teachers and the curriculum are so flawed. If those in the U.S. government (and all of the critics like you) truly cared about education, they would sit down and totally re-evaluate how the system functions, not just how the resources are distributed.

I fail to see how I in any way implied that money would be the only solution. You're milking a bull here.

bluefork
08-28-2007, 03:03 AM
I fail to see how I in any way implied that money would be the only solution. You're milking a bull here.

Then I must not understand what you were implying here:

Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

federated
08-28-2007, 03:04 AM
Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

News flash: We don't live in an apartheid state over here; doubtful Donald Young is from some caricature of black america.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:05 AM
Then I must not understand what you were implying here:

... that it would be nice if more money went towards public school education, therefore contributing towards improving education?

bluefork
08-28-2007, 03:08 AM
... that it would be nice if more money went towards public school education, therefore contributing towards improving education?

And I'm saying that putting more money towards public school education is not going to fix America's education failings. I think we understand each other perfectly. :shrug:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:10 AM
News flash: We don't live in an apartheid state over here; doubtful Donald Young is from some caricature of black america.

Ethnic separation exists. We're not speaking of South Africa here, but of a Capitalist state whereupon consumerism molds caricatures into marketable tools that they sell to the public.

What else is a caricature? Every ceremony you see at the US Open. And not just those with black people. All of this stuff is designed to keep people happy while the country burns.

MusicMyst
08-28-2007, 03:11 AM
When I was a child, my pediatrician took tennis lessons from Althea Gibson. She was already somewhat in financial straits and was trying to make a living from giving lessons to well-off professionals.

It's sad that the USTA couldn't honor Gibson before she died, rather than waiting until she wasn't around to hear all the accolades. She probably wouldn't have been able to attend, due to her health problems, but she probably could have watched on TV and enjoyed the ceremony.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:12 AM
And I'm saying that putting more money towards public school education is not going to fix America's education failings. I think we understand each other perfectly. :shrug:

Super. Now write up some manifestos and I'll fix up a couple of latees.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 03:15 AM
When I was a child, my pediatrician took tennis lessons from Althea Gibson. She was already somewhat in financial straits and was trying to make a living from giving lessons to well-off professionals.

It's sad that the USTA couldn't honor Gibson before she died, rather than waiting until she wasn't around to hear all the accolades. She probably wouldn't have been able to attend, due to her health problems, but she probably could have watched on TV and enjoyed the ceremony.

I do know that she was in attendance at Wimbledon in 1990 to see Zina Garrison win. Of course, Martina Navratilova won that year. ;)

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:16 AM
When I was a child, my pediatrician took tennis lessons from Althea Gibson. She was already somewhat in financial straits and was trying to make a living from giving lessons to well-off professionals.

It's sad that the USTA couldn't honor Gibson before she died, rather than waiting until she wasn't around to hear all the accolades. She probably wouldn't have been able to attend, due to her health problems, but she probably could have watched on TV and enjoyed the ceremony.

Sounds like she needed some financial assistance and a good doctor. Not a medal.

MusicMyst
08-28-2007, 03:22 AM
Sounds like she needed some financial assistance and a good doctor. Not a medal.

Not mutually exclusive.

From Wikipedia:

In 1971, Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 1975, she was appointed the New Jersey state commissioner of athletics. After 10 years on the job, she went on to work in other public service positions, including serving on the governor's council on physical fitness. In later years, she suffered two cerebral aneurysms and a stroke.

Tennis players made no money in the ‘50s, and Gibson’s finances worsened over the years. In 1992, she suffered a stroke. A few years later, Gibson called Buxton and told her she was on the brink of suicide. Gibson was living on welfare, and unable to pay for rent or medication. Buxton arranged for a letter to appear in a tennis magazine. Buxton told Gibson nothing about the letter, but Gibson figured it out when her mailbox started to bulge with envelopes full of checks from around the world. Eventually nearly $1 million came in.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:28 AM
Not mutually exclusive.

From Wikipedia:

But don't you see what you're got there? You have an act of good will. A geniuinely good act. And a letter in a magazine. This is grassroots stuff.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what we are seeing at the US Open. There is not good will. It's corporations milking people like Gibson to create a pseudo event - it's propaganda and nothing more. There is no real interest on their parts to help Gibson. It is only a convenient time to make a buck. And most importantly there is no real dialogue - no attempt, aside from perhaps people like Gibson, to discuss the problems of race. What the corporations want is a feel-good soiree.

What we really need is more good will. There is very little of it at the US Open. It's exactly like the black children standing all in a row behind pres. Bush. It's for show.

MusicMyst
08-28-2007, 03:33 AM
But don't you see what you're got there? You have an act of good will. A geniuinely good act. And a letter in a magazine. This is grassroots stuff.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what we are seeing at the US Open. There is not good will. It's corporations milking people like Gibson to create a pseudo event - it's propaganda and nothing more. There is no real interest on their parts to help Gibson. It is only a convenient time to make a buck. And most importantly there is no real dialogue - no attempt, aside from perhaps people like Gibson, to discuss the problems of race. What the corporations want is a feel-good soiree.

What we really need is more good will. There is very little of it at the US Open. It's exactly like the black children standing all in a row behind pres. Bush. It's for show.

This reads something from a college sophomore's Marxism 101 final. :rolleyes:

Don't you feel corrupted by posting on a site that MTF that owned and operated by corporations and *gasp* has ads from betting companies that exploit the working man by stealing his hard-won wages? Oh, the horror!

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:36 AM
This reads something from a college sophomore's Marxism 101 final. :rolleyes:

Don't you feel corrupted by posting on a site that MTF that owned and operated by corporations and *gasp* has ads from betting companies that exploit the working man by stealing his hard-won wages? Oh, the horror!

You've summed it all up nicely in three sentences. Aren't you smart?

Can you do Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" in two sentences? You have five minutes.

MCL
08-28-2007, 03:36 AM
Ethnic separation exists. We're not speaking of South Africa here, but of a Capitalist state whereupon consumerism molds caricatures into marketable tools that they sell to the public.

What else is a caricature? Every ceremony you see at the US Open. And not just those with black people. All of this stuff is designed to keep people happy while the country burns.

The US Open is a sporting event for profit. What do you expect? Could they do more? Yes

If you care so much about the plight of low-income ethnic minorities in the US, why don't you air your grievances elsewhere? Write an American congressperson. Make a charitable donation to a public school that is in bad condition. (Will that help? maybe/maybe not but it would lend some legitimacy to your claims)

Is the political agenda of the USTA , to you, an area of great concern? Then, perhaps you should write an open letter to the USTA about your concerns.





---
Admit it - this tribute pissed you off.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 03:41 AM
The US Open is a sporting event for profit. What do you expect? Could they do more? Yes

If you care so much about the plight of low-income ethnic minorities in the US, why don't you air your grievances elsewhere? Write an American congressperson. Make a charitable donation to a public school that is in bad condition. (Will that help? maybe/maybe not but it would lend some legitimacy to your claims)

Is the political agenda of the USTA , to you, an area of great concern? Then, perhaps you should write an open letter to the USTA about your concerns.





---
Admit it - this tribute pissed you off.

I expect nothing less than what it is. And I do not expect anything to change as long as people demand instant satisfaction and reject challenging and uncomfortable questions.

Look all around you and absorb the self-satisfaction of events like this. Then ask yourself what the point was. Does anyone even know if there was a point?

MusicMyst
08-28-2007, 03:52 AM
CyBorg, if you're re just parodying the strident self-righteousness of the left, then you're doing a good job. :wavey:

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 03:53 AM
Just confirms what I concluded after Federer blogged from Japan. He may not be blonde, but he IS a bimbo. The very idea that someone who is destined to be the greatest player of all time has not delved into the history of the game is mind-boggling. I would like to know his IQ. My guess, about 85.

MCL
08-28-2007, 03:57 AM
I expect nothing less than what it is. And I do not expect anything to change as long as people demand instant satisfaction and reject challenging and uncomfortable questions.

Look all around you and absorb the self-satisfaction of events like this. Then ask yourself what the point was. Does anyone even know if there was a point?

There are more viable venues for seriously addressing major issues. The USTA could do more. It should do more including continuing to fund deserving tennis programs. Given tax breaks and publicity whoring, they could probably keep them running.

That does not mean that Gibson should not be given a tribute. I can respect people who have issues with all tributes and view this particluar tribute like any other. People who only have a problem with this tribute seem to be full of :tape:.

Now I leave this thread. :wavey:

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 03:59 AM
CyBorg, I usually resist commenting on a poster's character, because you never know who is behind the username and whether it is a put on. But I have to say that you sound like a right eejit.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 04:03 AM
Look all around you and absorb the self-satisfaction of events like this. Then ask yourself what the point was. Does anyone even know if there was a point?

Yes, the point is entertainment and people can choose to experience the event, or not.

nobama
08-28-2007, 04:06 AM
Just confirms what I concluded after Federer blogged from Japan. He may not be blonde, but he IS a bimbo. The very idea that someone who is destined to be the greatest player of all time has not delved into the history of the game is mind-boggling. I would like to know his IQ. My guess, about 85.And just because he's not well versed on Althea Gibson means he hasn't delved into the history of the game? :rolleyes: I'm glad he was honest and didn't give some politically correct BS answer.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 04:12 AM
Listen, Roger is not...shall we say...the most well read about matters OUTSIDE of tennis. Let's not forget his quote about Mr. Freud, shall we.;)

Althea Gibson is not outside tennis. She is one of the main players in tennis history. I still find it hard to believe that Federer has apparently not even been interested enough to research previous Slam winners.
I bet he could name all the present Royal families of Europe though, and keeps a record of which ones he has not met yet. Because after all, he is royalty too, in his own shrunken mind. Witness the Royal Coat of Arms he sports at Wimbledon.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 04:14 AM
And just because he's not well versed on Althea Gibson means he hasn't delved into the history of the game?

yes

bluefork
08-28-2007, 04:17 AM
I bet he could name all the present Royal families of Europe though, and keeps a record of which ones he has not met yet. Because after all, he is royalty too, in his own shrunken mind. Witness the Royal Coat of Arms he sports at Wimbledon.

Are you serious? Perhaps you are the one with the "shrunken mind."

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 04:20 AM
Just confirms what I concluded after Federer blogged from Japan. He may not be blonde, but he IS a bimbo. The very idea that someone who is destined to be the greatest player of all time has not delved into the history of the game is mind-boggling. I would like to know his IQ. My guess, about 85.

I disagree. As someone once remarked, Roger is smart but not worldly. He does not come off as a dumb guy. The history thing is mind-bogging because he's always been referred to as someone who knows tennis history very well :confused:

sykotique
08-28-2007, 04:23 AM
1. I'm glad he was honest and owned up about his ignorance.

2. I'm disappointed he was ignorant in the first place.

3. I'm not entirely surprised, considering his age, place of birth and general focus on the history of men's tennis.

4. I'm disappointed, again, that neither he nor his entourage was quick enough to pick up on the possibility of him being asked a question about Gibson. What I would have appreciated would be an answer along the lines of "Well, I don't know much about her and obviously I never got the chance to watch her play, but from what I've heard..." etc. etc.

5. Federer once asked in an interview "What means 'adulation'?" I suppose, in general, he's not too ashamed of being ignorant on certain matters. Can't know everything, right?

6. I hope after that interview, he went and got a dictionary and looked up the spelling and the meaning of the word 'adulation'. The same way I hope that, after today's interview, he'll use one of his off days to read up on Althea Gibson and the barriers she broke down.


I think that's about it for my views on the matter.

Winston's Human
08-28-2007, 04:37 AM
Maybe if some of that military money went towards public school education - particularly in the black-populated regions - we would hear something articulate from the Donald. Maybe he would even admit that he knows as much about Gibson as Federer.

The military is a federal responsibility. Public Education is a state and a local responsibility. Changes in one would not effect changes in the other.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 04:48 AM
I've updated my OP with a news article on the event (and it was quite one :eek: ) with a couple of photos. Mayor Bloomberg & BJK were there to uncover the plaque.

Svetlana.
08-28-2007, 04:48 AM
6. I hope after that interview, he went and got a dictionary and looked up the spelling and the meaning of the word 'adulation'. The same way I hope that, after today's interview, he'll use one of his off days to read up on Althea Gibson and the barriers she broke down.

.

Why Roger or someone else should be forced to learn about Althea? She is definitely a great figure in tennis, but why necessarily everybody should be involved in it? :scratch: It's 21 century - people should move on and appreciate equal opportunities they have now. And I'm glad Roger did not let himself get involved in this all American political game.

Tennis Fool
08-28-2007, 04:51 AM
It's 21 century - people should move on and appreciate equal opportunities they have now.
Well, someone had to be a trailblazer...


Edited: Updated OP with Venus's remarks.

Aerion
08-28-2007, 05:20 AM
I barely know about AG. I remember her being in the stands a lot. I'm sure Bud Collins could give Roger a quick lesson on who AG is and what she's done for the game of tennis.

Where is Bud Collins anyhow? I miss his colorful attire. :wavey:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 05:22 AM
Yes, the point is entertainment and people can choose to experience the event, or not.

Excellent. In that case let's get down to entertainment and while we're at it we can stop pretending that we're doing something 'important'.
;)

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 05:24 AM
The military is a federal responsibility. Public Education is a state and a local responsibility. Changes in one would not effect changes in the other.

Are you aware how much money the United States pumps into the military? Do you know that if the military spending in the US is shrunk in four it will still tower over that of the other countries?

Now what can be done with 3/4 of the military spending? Hmmm...

sykotique
08-28-2007, 05:27 AM
Why Roger or someone else should be forced to learn about Althea? She is definitely a great figure in tennis, but why necessarily everybody should be involved in it? :scratch: It's 21 century - people should move on and appreciate equal opportunities they have now. And I'm glad Roger did not let himself get involved in this all American political game.

It has nothing to do with being involved and everything to do with being knowledgeable. You are a prominent tennis figure - expect to be asked about prominent tennis figures. If you don't know, there's no shame in that, because you can't know everything, but why remain ignorant when you have the resources to become knowledgeable?

It's not as if the knowledge would hurt Roger. If he reads up on her and, in his opinion, believes her impact to be of less significance to a European like himself than to American Civil Rights in general , then fair enough. But at least he would have made that decision on the foundation of knowledge and not the foundation of ignorance.

I'm sure that many posters, after browsing through this topic, went straight to Wikipedia to find out who the hell we were talking about. Surely Roger has Wikipedia.

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 05:30 AM
It has nothing to do with being involved and everything to do with being knowledgeable. You are a prominent tennis figure - expect to be asked about prominent tennis figures. If you don't know, there's no shame in that, because you can't know everything, but why remain ignorant when you have the resources to become knowledgeable?

Why should he be knowledgeable? Why can't he simply play and be a professional?

Winston's Human
08-28-2007, 05:34 AM
Now what can be done with 3/4 of the military spending? Hmmm...

I suppose that the government could refund it to the taxpayers. However, I suspect that would be wishful thinking on my part.

Svetlana.
08-28-2007, 05:46 AM
It has nothing to do with being involved and everything to do with being knowledgeable. You are a prominent tennis figure - expect to be asked about prominent tennis figures...

I'm sure that many posters, after browsing through this topic, went straight to Wikipedia to find out who the hell we were talking about. Surely Roger has Wikipedia.


How did she impact Roger's life or somebody else from Switzerland? It might stimulate blacks in the States and other countries, but I don't see any big reason why Roger or anybody else should google Althea's info in microscopic details. It would not change his life a bit. He already has a charity in South Africa and might be well aware of civil right movements there… and I would not ask anything more from him...

Lourdes
08-28-2007, 05:49 AM
Although this is a slam and every player's mind is on that fact, you would think they would have read somewhere a bit of a memo that a certain someone would be honored as BJK was last year. I don't blame Roger for not knowing who Althea was even though it's amusing.

star
08-28-2007, 05:53 AM
When I was a child, my pediatrician took tennis lessons from Althea Gibson. She was already somewhat in financial straits and was trying to make a living from giving lessons to well-off professionals.

It's sad that the USTA couldn't honor Gibson before she died, rather than waiting until she wasn't around to hear all the accolades. She probably wouldn't have been able to attend, due to her health problems, but she probably could have watched on TV and enjoyed the ceremony.

That's kind of interesting. Thank you.

Althea Gibson attended Wimbledon years ago when they were honoring champions. She was sort of enfeebled by that time.

But when she was at her wits end and in dire straits the tennis community did come through for her so that she was able to live out her last years with dignity.

nobama
08-28-2007, 05:54 AM
It has nothing to do with being involved and everything to do with being knowledgeable. You are a prominent tennis figure - expect to be asked about prominent tennis figures. If you don't know, there's no shame in that, because you can't know everything, but why remain ignorant when you have the resources to become knowledgeable?

It's not as if the knowledge would hurt Roger. If he reads up on her and, in his opinion, believes her impact to be of less significance to a European like himself than to American Civil Rights in general , then fair enough. But at least he would have made that decision on the foundation of knowledge and not the foundation of ignorance.

I'm sure that many posters, after browsing through this topic, went straight to Wikipedia to find out who the hell we were talking about. Surely Roger has Wikipedia.So someone in Roger's camp should have gone on the WWW to find out about Althea Gibson in the event he was asked a question about her today? That's ridiculous. I'd rather have him be honest and say 'sorry, don't know much about her, she was before my time' than get some crash course on her so he would look better if asked about her in his press conference.

hra87
08-28-2007, 05:54 AM
I don't really see the big deal...why would he know the history of the women's game? He would study the history of the men's game because it is important in figuring out his own game, to see how it has evolved. But the women's game is a whole 'nother ball game. The only reason to look it up is for trivia, and frankly I doubt he has the time. I'm probably biased 'cause I didn't know who she was, but then again I don't know that much about tennis.

But wait...he didn't know the Iraq war was going on? WOW. Though, in high school there was a girl in an advanced class with me who said, and I quote, "wait...who's the president again?" This was several years into the Bush presidency. So...yeah.

Also, why on earth should Federer know who Rosa Parks is? Do you know who Henri Dunant is? He has far more international importance that Rosa Parks.

And cyborg is correct, though a bit pretentious, in that these sorts of gimmicks make a mockery of what civil rights activists have been working for. Their entire purpose is merely to make middle and upper class whites feel good about themselves, while the black community is still enveloped in crime and poverty. Everyone becomes complacent and dont' feel any need to work on the necessary broad social and economic reforms that need to take place.

sykotique
08-28-2007, 05:54 AM
Why should he be knowledgeable? Why can't he simply play and be a professional?

Why should he be knowledgeable?

Why shouldn't he?

You are perhaps missing out the most important part of my post, that being, there is no shame in being ignorant. Roger can't be expected to know everything.

But since he was asked a question, why not? Will it kill him? Will it stop him from playing tennis?

Will it make him a better human being? Will he find a cure for cancer?

At some point, you've got to stop asking bloody questions and just do it, Nike style. "Hey, Mirka, some journalist asked me about some woman named Althea Gibson, today. Any idea who that is?"

star
08-28-2007, 05:58 AM
And just because he's not well versed on Althea Gibson means he hasn't delved into the history of the game? :rolleyes: I'm glad he was honest and didn't give some politically correct BS answer.

He could have said anything and you would have defended it.

nobama
08-28-2007, 05:58 AM
Why should he be knowledgeable?

Why shouldn't he?

You are perhaps missing out the most important part of my post, that being, there is no shame in being ignorant. Roger can't be expected to know everything.

But since he was asked a question, why not? Will it kill him? Will it stop him from playing tennis?

Will it make him a better human being? Will he find a cure for cancer?

At some point, you've got to stop asking bloody questions and just do it, Nike style. "Hey, Mirka, some journalist asked be about some woman named Althea Gibson, today. Any idea who that is?"
Why does it matter? :shrug:

Svetlana.
08-28-2007, 05:59 AM
At some point, you've got to stop asking bloody questions and just do it, Nike style. "Hey, Mirka, some journalist asked be about some woman named Althea Gibson, today. Any idea who that is?"

You are funny.... :haha: :haha: but I'm sure they have more important (to them) things to talk about. :wavey:

nobama
08-28-2007, 06:01 AM
He could have said anything and you would have defended it.:rolleyes: What exactly should he have said?

star
08-28-2007, 06:01 AM
Why does it matter? :shrug:

It doesn't matter because the great Fed trancends knowledge, time, and space. His wonderfulness can not be understood or imagined.

star
08-28-2007, 06:02 AM
:rolleyes: What exactly should he have said?

I'm not suggesting he should have said anything, but clearly it doesn't matter to you what he said because no matter what he said on any subject, you would defend him.

Rogiman
08-28-2007, 06:03 AM
I'm not suggesting he should have said anything, but clearly it doesn't matter to you what he said because no matter what he said on any subject, you would defend him.And you would attack him.

Svetlana.
08-28-2007, 06:04 AM
Roger is a normal guy... and thanks God free of garbage!!!! ;)

Marek.
08-28-2007, 06:05 AM
When did Federer say he didn't know who Gibson was? All he said in the interview was that it was before his time and he couldn't really talk about it. I'm sure he knew what she did for tennis.

nobama
08-28-2007, 06:08 AM
It doesn't matter because the great Fed trancends knowledge, time, and space. His wonderfulness can not be understood or imagined.
I'll ask again, and maybe get a serious answer. Why does it matter that he's knowledgeable about Althea Gibson? And this isn't even about Fed. I wouldn't expect Nadal, Djokovic or most guys on the ATP tour to know all about Althea Gibson. Maybe somebody should have clued him in because she was being honored tonight. But I don't get what the big deal is. I mean most players weren't even asked about her in their press conferences. :shrug:

hra87
08-28-2007, 06:08 AM
When did Federer say he didn't know who Gibson was? All he said in the interview was that it was before his time and he couldn't really talk about it. I'm sure he knew what she did for tennis.


Ummm...I doubt it. Look at the quote:

Q. What do you know about Althea Gibson?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. You're putting me on the spot. I don't know what you're talking about.

Q. She's being honored tonight.
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing, to be honest. It's before my time. Isn't much I can really say about it. I don't know, I'm sorry.


That implies he had never even heard who she was. The interviewer then clarifies saying who she is, and he says, nothing. He obviously then realizes she is a tennis player and since she is being honored he can assume it is before his time.

nobama
08-28-2007, 06:12 AM
I'm not suggesting he should have said anything, but clearly it doesn't matter to you what he said because no matter what he said on any subject, you would defend him.
Yep, just like some people would start BS threads to have a go at him. ;)

alfonsojose
08-28-2007, 06:16 AM
I'm sure Venus & Serena will have comments that I will add here. It's a bit unsettling that Roger doesn't know more. I wish the reporters would have asked more players, not just black players. It would have been nice if the USTA provided a bio so that players like Roger and others could give informed statements, but from what I'm gathering, the USTA doesn't do much :shrug:


DY's comments are the most interesting.

I completely disagree. I liked JesusFed's honest answer. The U.S. Open always focuses more on the U.S./domestic issues part. It's an Open event :rolleyes:

sykotique
08-28-2007, 06:21 AM
Why does it matter? :shrug:

Why does anything matter? Why should children read books, when they dream of being engineers? Why are they making me take Sci Med and Tech as a foundation when my major is Law?

I get it, enough, I understand, in the grand scheme of things Althea Gibson means diddly squat to many people and I don't fault them for having their opinions. But doesn't anyone care slightly about the little less significant quest for knowledge here?

It doesn't affect his character in the least. This is NOT about Roger's character. I'm just saying: If you are asked about something, one day, pertaining to your field in some shape, form or fashion, you are not going to feel the littlest bit intrigued to find just a little bit more? Not even a little?

I get the feeling you think I'm judging Roger in case he didn't care much about the subject. Just letting you know: I'm not, which is why I added the rather sarcastic questions earlier like "Will it make him a better human being? Will he find a cure for cancer?"

That's the whole point. It doesn't matter to me if Federer ever read Dostyevsky's Crime and Punishment, but if he did, it'd be pretty cool...cause then we'd have something in common.

I'm one of those people who just reads up on things that have the slightest significance to what I might be concentrating on at the time. I don't even have to be asked about it. That's just who I am. The whole "quest for knowledge" type. Maybe Roger is like that. Maybe he isn't. But wouldn't it be cool if he was?

alfonsojose
08-28-2007, 06:29 AM
So someone in Roger's camp should have gone on the WWW to find out about Althea Gibson in the event he was asked a question about her today? That's ridiculous. I'd rather have him be honest and say 'sorry, don't know much about her, she was before my time' than get some crash course on her so he would look better if asked about her in his press conference.

:yeah:

ExpectedWinner
08-28-2007, 06:29 AM
That's the whole point. It doesn't matter to me if Federer ever read Dostyevsky's Crime and Punishment, but if he did, it'd be pretty cool...cause then we'd have something in common.



Well, I read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and I don't feel like I have something in common with you. :shrug: Anyway, why do people have that strange desire to have something in common with a total stranger?

sykotique
08-28-2007, 06:32 AM
Well, I read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and I don't feel like I have something in common with you. :shrug: Anyway, why do people have that strange desire to have something in common with a total stranger?

Because it makes them feel closer to their faves.

And nice to meet you, ExpectedWinner. If you are female, maybe we'll get married someday. If you're male, maybe we'll become best friends. Or maybe we'll just post our lives away on an insignificant tennis message board not caring about each other's meaningless lives.

But at least we have something in common.

ExpectedWinner
08-28-2007, 06:39 AM
Because it makes them feel closer to their faves.



Sorry, it's beyond my comprehension. I don't want "to feel closer" to any tennis players. :shrug:

sykotique
08-28-2007, 06:45 AM
Sorry, it's beyond my comprehension. I don't want "to feel closer" to any tennis players. :shrug:

Maybe you don't, but that will never explain why people are into autographs, photos and other assorted paraphernalia.

Action Jackson
08-28-2007, 06:49 AM
Who?

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 06:52 AM
Who?

You set them straight, GWH.:devil:

CyBorg
08-28-2007, 06:55 AM
Why should he be knowledgeable?

Why shouldn't he?

You are perhaps missing out the most important part of my post, that being, there is no shame in being ignorant. Roger can't be expected to know everything.

But since he was asked a question, why not? Will it kill him? Will it stop him from playing tennis?

Will it make him a better human being? Will he find a cure for cancer?

At some point, you've got to stop asking bloody questions and just do it, Nike style. "Hey, Mirka, some journalist asked me about some woman named Althea Gibson, today. Any idea who that is?"

Just do it, Nike-style? Are you the one who speaks in cliches? Do you talk to your family this way as well? :p

This begs the most important question of all: will you buy that for a dollar?

sykotique
08-28-2007, 07:05 AM
Just do it, Nike-style? Are you the one who speaks in cliches? Do you talk to your family this way as well? :p

This begs the most important question of all: will you buy that for a dollar?

Not my family, but to my significant other, yes...that's actually how we got together. Long story.

Castafiore
08-28-2007, 08:09 AM
Q. What do you know about Althea Gibson?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. You're putting me on the spot. I don't know what you're talking about.

Q. She's being honored tonight.
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing, to be honest. It's before my time. Isn't much I can really say about it. I don't know, I'm sorry.


What's odd to me about this quote is that during Arthur Ashe Kids Day, they asked Serena Williams about Althea Gibson being honored, did they not? Federer was standing near Serena and he was listening to her reply. I mean, he has at least heard of her and if he was listening to Serena, he knows a bit about the context so his answer there surprises me.

I've never heard of Althea Gibson before either. If I were a professional tennis player, I would perhaps at least look her up on wikipedia or something, esp. if I'm one of the most interviewed tennis players but on the other hand, I don't agree with the PR people feeding these professional players answers either.


The dr. Freud quote was already mentioned in connection to the Althea Gibson quote but that was another strange Q&A, leaving me wondering if Roger was serious or not.
(2006 Tennis Masters, Shanghai)
Q. The experience comes from yourself or some experts like Dr. Freud?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know him. Who is he?

Q. He was an expert from psychology.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know.

Q. He was a Swiss, too.
ROGER FEDERER: Is that right? Nope, never needed him.
http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2006-11-13/n.php
That's another odd answer. I mean, everybody has at least heard of dr. Freud. So, is he just trying to avoid the question and get back to questions about the match he had just played or does he really not know anything about dr. Freud?

thesupreme
08-28-2007, 09:51 AM
seriously, Fed was asked a question...he didnt know the answer or about the topic...thats being honest. Some of you guys who have nothing better to do turn it into a bigger issue about race, 'disadvantaged black people', the Willaims sisters etc. F*cking losers on this board or what...Federer did nothing wrong, so what if he hasnt heard of her, he should have but he hasnt so can we move along???

bokehlicious
08-28-2007, 10:02 AM
There is a difference between not knowing much and being hugely ignorant. AG is like the Rosa Parks of tennis. It's like RF not knowing who Rosa P---actually, he probably doesn't. Let's say, it's like he never heard of Martin Luther King. Anyway, I'm not blaming him as much as the USTA for not prepping him. He can find out she's the first Black Wimbledon & US Championships winner and just say that it's good to know this and move on to the next question.

How can you compare MLK to that unknown Althea Gibson :confused: :shrug: Can you name the current Swiss president ? I bet you and your fellow Americans can't !

Fensler
08-28-2007, 10:12 AM
How can you compare MLK to that unknown Althea Gibson :confused: :shrug: Can you name the current Swiss president ? I bet you and your fellow Americans can't !

Micheline Calmy-Rey.

In all fairness, isn't a new president elected in Switzerland every year?

Action Jackson
08-28-2007, 10:12 AM
How can you compare MLK to that unknown Althea Gibson :confused: :shrug: Can you name the current Swiss president ? I bet you and your fellow Americans can't !

Hahaha.

the graduate
08-28-2007, 01:30 PM
There is something about Roger that is conceited,everyone hails him as the second coming but I find him to be fake I dont think he is as good s he is potrayed by the media.
Last year he said that New York is full of classless people and nobody said anything.He is just a egomaniac.

stebs
08-28-2007, 01:51 PM
Tennis Fool is surely joking when he says that not knowing about Althea Gibson is like not knowing about Martin Luther King. :lol: :haha:

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 01:52 PM
How can you compare MLK to that unknown Althea Gibson :confused: :shrug: Can you name the current Swiss president ? I bet you and your fellow Americans can't !

But Roger is a tennis player and the question was about tennis, not politics.
What you are proposing is that if an interviewer asked George Bush what he thought of the current Swiss president and he answered ''I don't really know anything about him.''


Oh, wait...........................

stebs
08-28-2007, 01:56 PM
But Roger is a tennis player and the question was about tennis, not politics.
What you are proposing is that if an interviewer asked George Bush what he thought of the current Swiss president and he answered ''I don't really know anything about him.''


Oh, wait...........................

Althea Gibson is not being honoured solely because of what she acheived as a tennis player. It has a great deal to do with politics and racial inequality.

Gibson is more important historically for political reasons and the fact that how she helped the race issue was by winning tennis matches is more of a side factor. If she was white she wouldn't be being honoured so it has a lot to do with who she was in a political way even though the accomplishments were in tennis the results of this politically in sports are really what is being celebrated.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 01:59 PM
Althea Gibson is not being honoured solely because of what she acheived as a tennis player. It has a great deal to do with politics and racial inequality.

Gibson is more important historically for political reasons and the fact that how she helped the race issue was by winning tennis matches is more of a side factor. If she was white she wouldn't be being honoured so it has a lot to do with who she was in a political way even though the accomplishments were in tennis the results of this politically in sports are really what is being celebrated.

Thank you for that. I have absolutely no idea how your answer relates to my quote.

stebs
08-28-2007, 02:01 PM
Thank you for that. I have absolutely no idea how your answer relates to my quote.

You said the question was about tennis not politics.

My answered relates to that.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 02:02 PM
I was making a joke about Bush.

Somehow I doubt that you should be telling me who Althea Gibson was. I watched her win Wimbledon.

Lillith
08-28-2007, 02:02 PM
Why does anything matter? Why should children read books, when they dream of being engineers? Why are they making me take Sci Med and Tech as a foundation when my major is Law?

I get it, enough, I understand, in the grand scheme of things Althea Gibson means diddly squat to many people and I don't fault them for having their opinions. But doesn't anyone care slightly about the little less significant quest for knowledge here?

It doesn't affect his character in the least. This is NOT about Roger's character. I'm just saying: If you are asked about something, one day, pertaining to your field in some shape, form or fashion, you are not going to feel the littlest bit intrigued to find just a little bit more? Not even a little?

I get the feeling you think I'm judging Roger in case he didn't care much about the subject. Just letting you know: I'm not, which is why I added the rather sarcastic questions earlier like "Will it make him a better human being? Will he find a cure for cancer?"

That's the whole point. It doesn't matter to me if Federer ever read Dostyevsky's Crime and Punishment, but if he did, it'd be pretty cool...cause then we'd have something in common.

I'm one of those people who just reads up on things that have the slightest significance to what I might be concentrating on at the time. I don't even have to be asked about it. That's just who I am. The whole "quest for knowledge" type. Maybe Roger is like that. Maybe he isn't. But wouldn't it be cool if he was?



These threads are rather enlightening for me. We apparently no longer look on learning for learning's sake as important, only the technical information needed to perform our trade is now important. Intellectual curiosity is apparently lacking in more people than just GW Bush.

I am a Federer fan and I have no problem with the fact that he apparently did not know who Althea Gibson was (though I am surprised). But for people to argue that he shouldn't care, shouldn't have the curiosity to at least find out about her is just sad.


Keep reading sky. Medical studies show that people who keep reading, doing crossword puzzles and remain intellectually active are far less likely to develop dementia diseases in old age. :)

stebs
08-28-2007, 02:05 PM
I was making a joke about Bush.

Somehow I doubt that you should be telling me who Althea Gibson was. I watched her win Wimbledon.

I didn't tell you who she was, I told you that she was celebrated for political reasons and sporting reasons.

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 02:09 PM
I didn't tell you who she was, I told you that she was celebrated for political reasons and sporting reasons.

You are right. I should have said that I doubt if you should be telling me what she did.

Beforehand
08-28-2007, 02:11 PM
1. I'm glad he was honest and owned up about his ignorance.

2. I'm disappointed he was ignorant in the first place.

3. I'm not entirely surprised, considering his age, place of birth and general focus on the history of men's tennis.

4. I'm disappointed, again, that neither he nor his entourage was quick enough to pick up on the possibility of him being asked a question about Gibson. What I would have appreciated would be an answer along the lines of "Well, I don't know much about her and obviously I never got the chance to watch her play, but from what I've heard..." etc. etc.

5. Federer once asked in an interview "What means 'adulation'?" I suppose, in general, he's not too ashamed of being ignorant on certain matters. Can't know everything, right?

6. I hope after that interview, he went and got a dictionary and looked up the spelling and the meaning of the word 'adulation'. The same way I hope that, after today's interview, he'll use one of his off days to read up on Althea Gibson and the barriers she broke down.


I think that's about it for my views on the matter.

GSM Sykotique

I'd say that just about covers it, especially 4-6.

hra87
08-28-2007, 02:27 PM
How can you compare MLK to that unknown Althea Gibson :confused: :shrug: Can you name the current Swiss president ? I bet you and your fellow Americans can't !

I unfortunately could not, and I follow politics a good bit. Can you name the president of Gabon? The issue here is that Switzerland isn't that big a player on the international level. Well, that's kind of a funny statement since so much of international relations takes place in switzerland, but since they're neutral, I don't think I've ever read an article talking about a statement or anything by the swiss president. I know the president/prime minister of canda, mexico, uk, spain, france, germany, russia, venezuela, egypt, australia, libya, italy, china, japan, north/south korea, brazil, bolivia, on and on and on and on. But yeah, no idea about Switzerland.

I think Europeans have a very funny view of a Americans. They take all of what they hate about modernity, and blame it on the Americans, when fundamentally they are all European ideas that are still engrained in European thought and culture.

nisabula
08-28-2007, 03:02 PM
1. I'm glad he was honest and owned up about his ignorance.

2. I'm disappointed he was ignorant in the first place.

3. I'm not entirely surprised, considering his age, place of birth and general focus on the history of men's tennis.

4. I'm disappointed, again, that neither he nor his entourage was quick enough to pick up on the possibility of him being asked a question about Gibson. What I would have appreciated would be an answer along the lines of "Well, I don't know much about her and obviously I never got the chance to watch her play, but from what I've heard..." etc. etc.

5. Federer once asked in an interview "What means 'adulation'?" I suppose, in general, he's not too ashamed of being ignorant on certain matters. Can't know everything, right?

6. I hope after that interview, he went and got a dictionary and looked up the spelling and the meaning of the word 'adulation'. The same way I hope that, after today's interview, he'll use one of his off days to read up on Althea Gibson and the barriers she broke down.


I think that's about it for my views on the matter.

I really don't understand your view here. You say that you're glad Federer was honest and owned up to his ignorance, but then in your fourth point you advocate the complete opposite, that he give a quickly manufactured answer fed to him by his support group, just so the press can have a nice, politically correct answer, disguising the fact that he didn't really know anything about her. Which is it?

I also don't understand why he should or would feel the need to read up on her afterwards. As a full-time tennis player I doubt he has as much time for reading as many of us, and there is nothing wrong with spending your free time relaxing, instead of constantly trying to further your knowledge of the world. No one has enough time to read up on and understand every single thing they come across in their lives as you would like to believe, it just isn't practical.

Gulliver
08-28-2007, 03:03 PM
This is purely my assumption! I am a tennis player (non-American), I look at the schedule, see I am 3rd on on Monday and not playing the night session, because, as usual, there will be an opening ceremony, about which I know nothing, except I don't have to attend, and 2 Americans will then play.
I come off after my match and am asked about the opening ceremony and someone I don't know anything about.....all American focused. I say sorry.....etc.

I find this scenario perfectly understandable.

Rogiman
08-28-2007, 03:50 PM
This thread shows that many posters are obsessed with tennis players to the point of caring about their private lives and how knowledgeable they are.
1. I'm glad he was honest and owned up about his ignorance.

2. I'm disappointed he was ignorant in the first place.

3. I'm not entirely surprised, considering his age, place of birth and general focus on the history of men's tennis.

4. I'm disappointed, again, that neither he nor his entourage was quick enough to pick up on the possibility of him being asked a question about Gibson. What I would have appreciated would be an answer along the lines of "Well, I don't know much about her and obviously I never got the chance to watch her play, but from what I've heard..." etc. etc.

5. Federer once asked in an interview "What means 'adulation'?" I suppose, in general, he's not too ashamed of being ignorant on certain matters. Can't know everything, right?

6. I hope after that interview, he went and got a dictionary and looked up the spelling and the meaning of the word 'adulation'. The same way I hope that, after today's interview, he'll use one of his off days to read up on Althea Gibson and the barriers she broke down.


I think that's about it for my views on the matter.
Why would anyone here care about all that?
If I wanted to watch a trivia-wiz I would watch "Millionaire", not tennis.

These guys have for years developed their physical abilities, possibly at the cost of neglecting their intellectual side, leaving school earlier than others (and in Swiss high schools young people DO study ,so I hear).

Why is everyone so disappointed that the world #1 in tennis isn't the world's brightest person too? Had you thought otherwise when you turned to tennis in the first place?

Now, guys like Baghdatis and R=FK are too stupid even for tennis players...

nobama
08-28-2007, 04:02 PM
I wonder how many other non-American players (men and women) on the tour know much about Althea Gibson? Or is it just a requirement of #1 players to beef up on their knowledge of tennis history in their spare time?

G4.
08-28-2007, 04:14 PM
Why does anything matter? Why should children read books, when they dream of being engineers? Why are they making me take Sci Med and Tech as a foundation when my major is Law?

I get it, enough, I understand, in the grand scheme of things Althea Gibson means diddly squat to many people and I don't fault them for having their opinions. But doesn't anyone care slightly about the little less significant quest for knowledge here?



Gibson's accomplishments are taught in every school of Europe , biographies of her are published every months . What's happened to culture ?!

Rogiman
08-28-2007, 04:20 PM
Gibson's accomplishments are taught in every school of Europe , biographies of her are published every months . What's happened to culture ?!:lol:

What is there to say really...?

When an american team wins the local championships they announce themselves "champions of the world" :haha:

Obviously everyone is watching the USA carefully to see who our future cultural heroes are...

GlennMirnyi
08-28-2007, 04:26 PM
Why should Federer know about someone who played something definitely not tennis?

ExpectedWinner
08-28-2007, 07:19 PM
These guys have for years developed their physical abilities, possibly at the cost of neglecting their intellectual side, leaving school earlier than others (and in Swiss high schools young people DO study ,so I hear).



Exactly, most pros are high school drop outs. I've heard daily schedule in a tennis academy looks like that: practice (2 or 3), gym, eating, resting , sex (lots if it). :D

Purple Rainbow
08-28-2007, 07:45 PM
DONALD YOUNG: I was excited to see one of them play. It has been a while since an African American played. They're awesome players. They're not just African American, but American players, too. Just overall they're great.


:worship:

bokehlicious
08-28-2007, 07:55 PM
The issue here is that Switzerland isn't that big a player on the international level.

Just because that Gibson comes from a country that "plays big on the international level" the whole universe is supposed to know all about her ? :confused:

buddyholly
08-28-2007, 09:40 PM
Just because that Gibson comes from a country that "plays big on the international level" the whole universe is supposed to know all about her ? :confused:

No, not the whole universe, just the whole universe of devoted tennis fans. Guess Federer is not included.

nisabula
08-28-2007, 10:57 PM
No, not the whole universe, just the whole universe of devoted tennis fans. Guess Federer is not included.

I'm a devoted tennis fan but I'm only interested in mens tennis, so I couldn't care less about some woman who didn't even achieve anything that special.

Melly Flew Us
08-28-2007, 11:27 PM
Why should Federer know about someone who played something definitely not tennis?

I'm a devoted tennis fan but I'm only interested in mens tennis, so I couldn't care less about some woman who didn't even achieve anything that special.
WOW unite.

Tennis Fool
08-29-2007, 12:47 AM
I've updated with quotes from Serena and Jelena. Jelena didn't know who AG was; Serena was surprised that Roger didn't know who AG was.


Jon Wertheim mentions Roger's gaff in his article today, calling his remarks "tone-deaf".

scarecrows
08-29-2007, 12:50 AM
:worship:

:lol: i noticed that too

sounds so stupid

Tennis Fool
08-29-2007, 12:57 AM
I don't really see the big deal...why would he know the history of the women's game? He would study the history of the men's game because it is important in figuring out his own game, to see how it has evolved. But the women's game is a whole 'nother ball game. The only reason to look it up is for trivia, and frankly I doubt he has the time.
He knew enough to announce he'd passed Steffi's weeks at No. 1.

Who?
Insightful response as usual.

buddyholly
08-29-2007, 01:31 AM
I'm a devoted tennis fan but I'm only interested in mens tennis, so I couldn't care less about some woman who didn't even achieve anything that special.

I agree, winning Grand Slams is nothing special. Just look at Federer, nothing special there.

Winston's Human
08-29-2007, 04:24 AM
I'm a devoted tennis fan but I'm only interested in mens tennis, so I couldn't care less about some woman who didn't even achieve anything that special.

Ms. Gibson at least won the French Championships.

alfonsojose
08-29-2007, 04:38 AM
:zzz: :zzz:

bluefork
08-29-2007, 04:50 AM
The video of Federer's interview is now up on the US Open site. It sounds like he didn't recognize Althea Gibson's name at first, but then realized who the reporter was talking about.

The journalist, whoever she was, really did sound like she was trying to put Federer on the spot. I mean, what exactly did she expect him to say about Althea Gibson? As usual, these journalists are just there to ask stupid questions and stir up trouble.