Friday, August 29, 2008


Now I try not to use this site as my own soapbox to espouse my political views, but hey, sometimes a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do. Who would think that the US OPEN Tennis tournament would give me the opportunity to exercise a little political punditry?

I will preface thi
s by saying that I sincerely love and respect Venus Williams. Serena is my all time favorite, but Venus is my sentimental favorite. She is the person that drew me to the sport initially over ten years ago. There is something about her grace, her elegance, her sometimes shy and reserved demeanor and how those traits are contrasted by her sheer power, ferocity and force on the court that make me love her. But yesterday, in an interview on the historic day that Barack Obama accepted his nomination as the Democratic Presidential Candidate and on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic march on Washington and his iconic I HAVE A DREAM speech, Venus said the following:

“I didn’t know that was the date (of King’s speech), I am
so focused on trying to win my match and obviously coming down from (the Olympics in) Beijing. It’s been a whirlwind, so I’ve been just pretty much focused on tennis.”

Now I believe in being focused on one's work, but come on now....really. I pray that she is not in such a bubble that she could let this historic moment pass her by. Funny enough, James Blake and gymnast Shawn Johnson were also at the Olympics - Shawn went on to lead the pledge of allegiance on the day of Obama's acceptance speech. Now granted, she didn't have a competition that day, but at least she knew what the biggest headline in America was on that day.


Conversely, the gorgeous, handsome and gluteus-ly blessed James Blake said the following:

“I am proud. I am very proud of Barack Obama. I believe in him and I believe he will do good things for this county. I hope the country gives him that opportunity.”

Ironically (and sadly enough), Venus (as did Serena and James) played said match on the court named after the great tennis pioneer and civil rights activist, Mr. Arthur Ashe. What Mr. Ashe and Dr. King did allowed Ms. Williams to have the opportunities and freedoms that she enjoys today. What Mr. Obama will do will be in that great tradition. I hope she at least finds the clips on YOUTUBE.

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