US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
Tennis is a sport where the most important factor is to play well and play to the best of your ability. Most tennis players start out learning the sport because they want to play the best they possibly can, not necessarily because they want to be a “pro” or win a Grand Slam. One of the biggest hurdles that most tennis players face is overcoming the stigma that many have about Black athletes.
It’s something that has been debated as far as the Olympics goes, but the controversy has also hit the tennis world. Black tennis player James Blake is the only athlete to ever enter the Olympics, and thus is the only athlete of African descent to ever enter the Olympic Games.
In his latest interview on his website, James Blake discusses why he feels tennis players from the African American community are sometimes seen as a step backward in the sport and are sometimes looked down upon because of their race.
Blake says, “For so long I’ve been looked at as a second-class citizen, where people who are black and have black partners are considered’special’ and ‘better’ than me.
“I’ve always had that as a huge problem,” James Blake said, “I’ve always been an athlete and people don’t really appreciate the value my work on the tennis court brings to society, and that I have to share my success with people who can’t do things like I can, all because I’m Black.”
Blake continued, “I’ve always been a student, and I’ve always been taught that everything should be handed to me, and that whatever I achieve in life, I’m just going to have to make do with it.
“And even if it meant me not gaining as much as white people, I had to make do with that.”
Blake then shared his reasons why these attitudes are still prevalent in many tennis circles, and why he thinks the way tennis is perceived by White athletes is a lot more different from the way he sees it being perceived by Black athletes.