Police investigate alleged hate crime in Gay Village
CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR
Toronto Police are calling a recent late-night assault in the Gay Village a hate crime, stoking concerns the neighbourhood is no longer safe.
Ryan Lester, 30, was kicked in the face and called “faggot” while getting a post-bar snack at Mehran Restaurant on Church St. early Saturday Jan. 22. His 24-year-old brother, Ben, suffered has deep bruises on his back and had to go to the dentist to repair a broken molar.
The beating comes on the heels of allegations that local students have been hurling slushies, ice and homophobic slurs at residents in the Gay Village.
Lester said he used to have a sense of security in the Gay Village but the recent incidents have him on edge.
“I thought of it as an inherently safe space. If you have a problem with gay people, you just don’t go there,” Lester said.
Eoin McManus, 21, and Benjamin McCall, 21, both of Toronto, have each been charged with two counts of assault and one count of mischief after breaking the restaurant’s front window.
Toronto Police Det. Chu Chang categorized the attack as a hate crime.
“There were homophobic slurs and other derogatory comments being made. The victims did not provoke them in any way and all of a sudden they were assaulted,” Chang said, adding that in his year and a half at 51 Division, it’s the first time he has categorized a case as a hate crime.
Toronto Police recorded 174 hate crimes in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Twenty six of them were related to sexual orientation.
Lester said the taunts began as soon as he walked into the restaurant with his brother.
“I think they thought we were together and they started in with the usual homophobic slurs. It was definitely ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ and ‘homo.’ They were laughing to themselves,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Paul Winsor was singled out by a group of students who soaked him with two slushies. The 49-year-old dodged a chunk of ice as he chased them toward the school in the Gay Village. Winsor ran into a friend shortly after the attack who had been targeted with ice and called ‘faggot.’
The “slushie facial” is a popular form of bullying on the musical TV series Glee. Winsor told the Star he thought the attack was “general hooliganism.”
However, Lester suggested the slushie attack could be a “gateway crime” to more violent attacks. Community activist Enza Anderson called the students “teens of terror” and has organized a Feb. 9 meeting to discuss what she describes as a rising number of homophobic attacks.
Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27 councillor, said the attacks are alarming.
“It could be perhaps coincidental . . . But we should never take any of this lightly,” she said.
She encouraged victims to “speak up and report incidents when they take place” so that if there is a problem the community can craft a solution.
“Is (the Gay Village) a safe and welcoming place? Absolutely. Do we have a rampant problem or hate crime? I don’t think so,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t have isolated incidents . . . We can’t actually help unless we know.”
It’s a message Lester stands behind. He used to ignore homophobic taunts but after he was jumped he’s heard of other troubling homophobic incidents.
“People have told me things I can’t even believe that have happened to them in the village — that I think they just ignore too as, almost, common play.”
Gothamist Article: Black Students In New York City Public Schools More Likely To Be Suspended Than Whites, Latino, or Asian Kids.
Black students comprise just a third of the NYC student body, but they serve more than half of the suspensions, according to a new study [pdf] by the NYCLU and the Student Safety Coalition. And even though the total student population decreased over the past decade, the number of suspensions served each school year nearly doubled. The most punished students were the disabled; the study found that students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities. And the report contends that black students served longer suspensions on average and were more likely to be suspended for subjective misconduct, like profanity and insubordination. In youth culture, that’s known as “cursing while black.”
The NYCLU cites studies that show that students who are suspended tend to be suspended repeatedly, until they either drop out or are pushed out of school. And according to the report, thirty percent of suspensions occur in March and May of each school year when students often are taking exams. The NYCLU, which obtained the raw data through Freedom of Information law requests, argues that all this adds up to an academic culture that sets up blacks and disabled students to fail.
“Education is a child’s right, not a reward for good behavior,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman says. “Sadly, the growing reliance on suspensions in New York City schools all too often denies children – often the most vulnerable and in need of support – their right to an education. This harsh approach to discipline, combined with aggressive policing in schools, pushes kids from the classroom into the criminal justice system.” City Education Department spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz says, “We have a discipline code that we follow with regard to student infractions, coupled with student support services. Race is not a factor in suspension decisions.”
The Daily News puts a human face on the story by interviewing one Myles Ephraim of Forest Hills, whose 13-year-old won was disciplined for playing with a souvenir baseball bat. Ephraim says five students were playing with the bat, but his son—the only black child in the group—was the only one punished. “It was almost like it was written for television,” Ephraim tells the News. “Aside from anger, there was a sadness. It was a sign of what our son would have deal with for a long time—forever.”
U.S. wants to see an overhaul, not overthrow, in Egypt
While not objecting to Hosni Mubarak’s government reshuffle, a senior Obama administration official says far more change is needed, including giving opposition groups and activists more freedom. What the U.S. wants to avoid is a repeat of Iran’s 1979 revolution.
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U.S. officials didn’t object Saturday to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak‘s government reshuffle but made it clear they want to see far more change in the days ahead.
A senior administration official said the United States is looking for “‘managed change’ – adjustments over a fairly extended period of time that allows you to manage it in a fairly orderly way.”
While the administration is pressing for the opposition groups and civil activists to be given more political influence, “that doesn’t necessarily mean the governing coalition will be swept away, not at all,” the official said.
He constrasted managed change with what happened in 1979, when the U.S. backed the shah of Iran until his government was swept away and it produced “something that was unexpected and in many respects much worse than what it replaced.”
The official, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly, said it remained unclear where the Egyptian military is coming down in the contest between Mubarak and the opposition.
While Washington has been sharpening the pressure on Egypt – including a threat to withdraw its $1.5 billion in aid – the dialogue between the two sides “is not disagreeable. We’re a friend of Egypt,” he said.
Publicly, the Obama administration called for Mubarak to make “real reform” in his government, but voiced no objection to his decision to appoint a new vice president and Cabinet.
The State Department‘s chief spokesman, Philip Crowley, said in a Twitter message Saturday morning that the Egyptian government “can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak’s pledging reform must be followed by action.”
Soon afterward, Mubarak named his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as vice president, a post that has been vacant during his 29-year tenure.
U.S. officials have worked on a number of projects with Suleiman, and they appeared to react positively to his appointment.
As the demonstrations have gathered force in recent days, the Obama administration has been struggling with the delicate task of prodding Mubarak toward change while trying to avoid completely alienating an ally of three decades.
President Obama’s aides met for two hours on Saturday at the White House to discuss the crisis. The meeting was led by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and included Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by telephone.
Robert Danin, a former U.S. official with the Council on Foreign Relations, said it appeared that Mubarak was strengthening his ties to the military with the appointment of Suleiman and other new officials.
“He’s securing his base,” said Danin, a specialist on Mideast issues.
He said the administration was sensible to avoid condemning Mubarak’s move, because the question of what will be done with a reconstituted government remains unanswered.
He noted that Mubarak’s choice of a vice president has stirred speculation that the president – 82 years old and ill – may be preparing to step down.
The senior administration official said Egypt can’t go back to the old way of government.
“Change is coming, in some form,” he said.
Egyptians Defiant as Military Does Little to Quash Protests
A member of the Egyptian military speaking to a crowd, urging them to maintain order and obey the curfew. More Photos »
Published: January 29, 2011
CAIRO — President Hosni Mubarak struggled to maintain a tenuous hold on power on Saturday as the military did not act against tens of thousands of demonstrators who defied a new curfew to call for an end to his nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.
Mubarak Orders Crackdown, With Revolt Sweeping Egypt (January 29, 2011)
Related in Opinion
Opinionator | The Thread: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mubarak? (January 28, 2011)
As street battles between protesters and the security police flared for a fifth day, Mr. Mubarak named a new government filled with military figures, signaling the pivotal role the military might play in shaping the outcome of the unrest. He appointed Omar Suleiman, his right-hand man and the country’s intelligence chief, as vice president and a retired general as prime minister.
Until now, Mr. Mubarak, who was vice president when he took power after the assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat, has steadfastly refused to name any successor, and Mr. Suleiman’s appointment stirred speculation that the president was planning to resign. The new prime minister is Ahmed Shafik, a retired air force general.
Late Saturday, it was still unclear whether the military was defying orders to crack down or simply had not been issued them yet. But at least some troops seemed to be sympathizing with the protesters. In the most striking instance, four armored military vehicles moved at the front of a crowd of thousands of protesters in a pitched battle against Egyptian security police officers defending the Interior Ministry.
Protesters there crouched behind armored trucks as they advanced on the police line surrounding the building, then darted forward to hurl rocks or Molotov cocktails and to set abandoned cars on fire.
But the soldiers refused protesters’ pleas to open fire on the security police. And the police battered the protesters with tear gas, buckshot and rubber bullets. There were pools of blood in the streets, and protesters carried at least a dozen wounded from the front line of fighting.
Everywhere in Cairo, soldiers and protesters hugged or snapped pictures together on top of tanks. With the evident consent of the soldiers, protesters had scrawled graffiti denouncing Mr. Mubarak on many of the tanks in downtown Cairo. “This is the revolution of all the people,” read a common slogan. “No, No, Mubarak” was another. In Alexandria, demonstrators took tea to troops.
The loyalty of the military — the country’s most popular and respected institution — will be crucial to determining whether Mr. Mubarak can remain as the president of his country, a leader in the Arab world and perhaps America and Israel’s closest ally in the region. A change in leadership here would threaten to upend the established order throughout the Middle East.
The unrest continued to reverberate throughout the region, where other autocratic leaders have long held on to power.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia blamed unnamed agitators for the demonstrations in Egypt. The Saudi Press Agency quoted him saying: “No Arab or Muslim can tolerate any meddling in the security and stability of Arab and Muslim Egypt by those who infiltrated the people in the name of freedom of expression, exploiting it to inject their destructive hatred.”
And in Yemen, dozens of protesters took to the streets of Sana in solidarity with Egyptian demonstrators, local media reported. There were large antigovernment demonstrations in Yemen last week, as government critics were inspired after street demonstrations toppled Tunisia’s government.
The late-afternoon confrontation at the Interior Ministry in Cairo followed a night of rampant looting around Cairo and then an extraordinary day of peaceful celebration in central squares of the city. The brigades of security police officers who battled hundreds of thousands of protesters on Friday had withdrawn from most of the city, many pulling back to positions defending core government buildings and Mr. Mubarak’s presidential palace.
One crowd cheered and chanted, “The army and the people will purify the country.” And jubilant crowds marched with their fists in the air, many of them carrying Egyptian flags.
By midday Saturday, young civilians were trying to fill gaps left by the police, directing traffic and in some cases defending their neighborhoods with clubs and other makeshift weapons.
Mr. Mubarak, however, appeared to push back, imposing a new curfew of 4 p.m. — which protesters defied — and state television warned that the police would shoot violators on sight.
Mubarak Orders Crackdown, With Revolt Sweeping Egypt (January 29, 2011)
Related in Opinion
Opinionator | The Thread: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mubarak? (January 28, 2011)
While some Egyptians reveled in what appeared to be their new freedom, there were ominous signs of lawlessness in places where the police had abandoned their posts.
In the northern port city of Alexandria, witnesses were unnerved by the young men on patrol with sticks, clubs and other weapons.
“We’re Egyptians. We’re real men,” said a shopkeeper, brandishing a machete. “We can protect ourselves.”
Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, said that he observed a group of soldiers completely surrounded by people asking for help in protecting their neighborhoods. The army told them they would have to take care of their own neighborhoods and that there might be reinforcements Sunday.
“Egypt has been a police state for 30 years. For the police to suddenly disappear from the streets is a shocking experience,” Mr. Bouckaert said. “Even though the police were very repressive, they were also ever-present.”
Although cellphone service was restored in much of the country, the government appeared to still be blocking or restricting the Internet in an attempt to keep protesters from using social networking sites to communicate. The leaders of the early demonstrators, many of them young, used those sites to organize their protests, successfully evading Mr. Mubarak’s efficient security apparatus, which has for years co-opted opposition leaders it could and jailed those it could not.
State television also announced Saturday night that the Egyptian authorities had arrested an unspecified number of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that for decades has been considered the only substantial counterweight to Mr. Mubarak’s power. When young online activists declared a day of protest on Jan. 25, the Brotherhood initially demurred. But when the size of that outpouring became clear, the Brotherhood said it would turn its members out in full force Friday.
On Friday and Saturday there were many signs of Brotherhood members marching and chanting in the crowds. But the throngs — mostly spontaneous — were so large that the Brotherhood’s presence seemed far from dominant. And questions about the Brotherhood amid protesters often produced passionate debates for and against the group and its potential future influence.
Before the street fights late Saturday, government officials had acknowledged more than 40 deaths around Cairo, plus 27 in Alexandria, 12 in Suez and more fatalities in a handful in other cities. Officials said that as many as 1,000 had been injured. But the final death toll was expected to be much higher. One doctor in a crowd of protesters said his Cairo hospital alone had seen 23 people dead from bullet wounds, and he showed digital photographs of the victims.
Many of the protesters took American journalists aside to complain about United States government support for Mr. Mubarak or to express disappointment with President Obama. Perhaps because of Mr. Obama’s Muslim family history or perhaps because of his much-publicized speech here at the start of his presidency, many of the protesters expressed their criticism in the same unusually personal way: “I want to send a message to Obama.”
In Alexandria, where some of bloodiest clashes with the police took place, protesters’ positions appeared to be hardening.
“I’ve been in the streets from the 25th on, and I’m going to remain in the streets until Hosni Mubarak and his friends leave the country,” said Marwat Saleh, 43, who owns a small tourism company.
“It would have been better if he had not given his speech yesterday, because it seems he did not understand our demands,” she said. “We want him to step down, not only the government; he has to go.”
Mr. Mubarak’s speech just after midnight, in which he dismissed his cabinet, was mainly a defense of his government and the imperative to maintain stability.
Protesters in the city also voiced significant anger at the United States, rushing up to American reporters on the streets unprompted to ask why the United States continued to back the Egyptian government.
“We are very disillusioned by President Obama’s speech,” said Muhammad Shafai, 35, a lawyer, who called for Mr. Obama to distance himself from Mr. Mubarak.
In his speech Friday night, Mr. Obama took on a stern tone, saying he had personally told Mr. Mubarak that he needed to listen to his people’s demands for a “better democracy.” But the United States has counted on Egypt for help in the region, whether supporting American moves in Iraq or trying to defuse tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis.
In Sinai, officials said that the security police had withdrawn from broad portions of the territory, leaving armed Bedouin in control. At least five members of the police, both law enforcement and state security, were killed, officials said.
The army moved to secure Cairo International Airport on Saturday as The Associated Press reported that as many as 2,000 people had flocked there in a frantic attempt to leave the country. It was unclear how quickly they could leave, however, since international carriers reported delays and cancellations.
The Israeli government, meanwhile, flew the families of its envoys, as well as 40 other Israeli citizens, out of the country on a special flight.
But by Saturday night, much of Cairo — including the upscale Zamalek area — was in the control of young civilians armed with clubs and bats. They said they were armed to deter looters and protect their neighborhoods, and they stopped cars and detained passers-by, ostensibly for breaking the curfew. Gunfire was heard in Cairo and some suburbs.
|Jan 28th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Men’s Semifinal #2||3:30 AM|
|Jan 28th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Men’s Semifinal #2||1:00 PM|
|Jan 29th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Women’s Final||3:00 AM|
|Jan 29th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Women’s Final||3:30 PM|
|Jan 30th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Men’s Final||3:00 AM|
|Jan 30th||2011 Australian Open Tennis: Men’s Final||12:30 P|
Na Li Makes History She Defeats Overrated Caroline Wozniacki To Become First Chinese Woman To Reach A Grand Slam Final!!!
I am so happy for Na Li of China she proved today she’s becoming more mentally tough and consistent! Na Li defeated the overrated world number one Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-5 6-3 to reach the Australian Open women’s final.
I must point out Wozniacki had a 6-3 5-4 lead in the second set but Na Li went for it and hit a winner to break back for 5 all in the second set. Na Li her serve and broke Wozniacki again to win the second set. In the third set, Caroline got tight and made a ton of unforced errors.
Na Li is the first Chinese woman to reach a grand slam singles final! Na Li is the best Chinese female player of her generation and she’s done a lot for Chinese tennis. Li was the first Chinese woman to win a WTA Tour title and reach the top 10 in the WTA Tour. Meanwhile, Li will face the world number three Kim Clijsters of Belgium she steamrolled Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-3 6-3.
The media have hyped Wozniacki to the maximum, I am not suggesting Caroline doesn’t have talent but I am not impressed with her game. Caroline is still very young she is only twenty years old so she still has time to win a grand slam. Caroline’s counterpunching style I believe doesn’t work against the top women. The top women have the power and consistency to blast Caroline off the court.
David Ferrer of Spain blasted Rafael Nadal off the court 6-4 6-2 6-3 to advance to his first Australian Open semifinal. Ferrer denied Nadal from winning all four grand slams in a row! Ferrer is only five foot nine but he is very aggressive, has an excellent return of serve, and is very mentally tough. Ferrer has beaten Nadal in a grand slam before at the 2007 US Open. The media will create excuses for Nadal losing to Ferrer but they are simply tarnishing Nadal’s legacy. It is very ungracious for Nadal and the media to exaggerate his injury just because he is losing.
Every tennis player loses matches including the great champions like Rafael Nadal. The truth is, David Ferrer just overpowered Nadal tonight. Nadal wasn’t injured he was faking it to save his face.
Nadal has a history of constantly making excuses when he loses matches. The result is still the same though a loss is still a loss.
Rafael is a great tennis champion I am not disputing this fact. However, Nadal’s propensity to create and exaggerate his injures is very disconcerting and reeks of unprofessionalism. If Nadal is so injured then why did he bother playing the match at all? Once Nadal sets on the tennis court, he must give his opponent credit.
The media must give David Ferrer credit. Ferrer is extremely talented but he doesn’t get respect even though he’s been ranked in the top 10 or 20 for most of his career. Ferrer simply outplayed Nadal and this is the truth. Ferrer mixed his game up and kept Nadal off-balance. Ferrer deserves credit for maintaining his aggression and not allowing Nadal back into the match.
I believe the new Superbowl ads are promoting racism and homophobia against gay black and white men. I noticed a couple of things with the Doritos ads. The first ad has an interracial gay couple sitting by the pool eating potato chips. Now, the husband is watching the interracial gay couple and the wife’s expression is priceless. The fear the wife has is her husband may be gay and she doesn’t want her husband to be a homosexual.
Of course, we know the couple is homosexual because of their stereotypical mannerisms and behaviour. The wife is shocked that her husband could be gay because he has a seductive look on his face as he stares at the gay couple.
The light skinned black man is depicted as effeminate and he is not a strong black man. The white gay man is also gay because his behaviour is effeminate as well. The light skinned black man says to his white partner “told you so” to indicate that their neighbour is secretly gay.
The second ad is just as offensive as the first ad but the racist undertones are more obvious. In the second ad, a dark skinned muscular black man and a white man are in a sauna. The white man is supposed to be looking at the black man’s penis because of course all black men have large penises. Of course, the white man actually wants potato chips.
The black man turns out to be gay but the white man in the ad is heterosexual he only wants the potato chips. The racist undertones of the video are a bit disappointing. Once again, the stereotype of the dark-skinned gigantic black penis obviously still exists in the psyche of some white males. White men have an obsession with the black male bodies and the black penis.
This obsession that white men have for black male sexuality has existed in America for hundreds of years. Anti miscegenation laws were created by white males in America to prohibit black men from reproducing and marrying white women.
Throughout American history, white men have anxieties about black male sexuality and they killed black men to reduce their fears of black male sexuality. Remember, black men were lynched and murdered in the early 20th century in America if they “looked” at a white woman. A psychoanalytical perspective is that, white men still fear black male sexuality. The fears white men have about black men exists in their unconscious. The fears are reproduced in this racist and anti gay Superbowl ad! The blatant racism and homophobia of the second ad is deleterious. The second Superbowl ad is very offensive!
Black men we are once again reduced to just being sex objects to be ridiculed, stigmatized, and our sexuality pathologized! The second ad is racist, sexist, and homophobic!
The advertisers are still promoting that black men are licentious. The black man in the second ad is also dark-skinned which is a symbol that he is hyper sexualized as well.
Hello tennis fans, if you think the white tennis media has an axe to grind against Venus Williams you are correct! After Venus retired from her third round match at the Australian Open she was was booed off the court by the racist white Australian tennis crowd. Would Venus be booed off the tennis court if she was a white woman? The Australian tennis crowd have no class!
Justine Henin has played poorly since her comeback to the WTA Tour but Henin gets a free pass because she is a white woman. Henin dominated the French Open but last year her twenty-four match winning streak was snapped by Samantha Stosur. Where are the obituaries for Justine Henin? Kim Clijsters the countrywoman of Henin comeback is much more successful she won two US Open tennis championships. So why is Henin getting respect but Venus Williams is scorned? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know white women have always been treated better in society than black women. Venus Williams may be on the decline but the negativity about her injury is deleterious and racist.
I have read numerous articles since Venus retired from the Australian Open on Friday. Matt Cronin a well known Williams Sisters hater wrote a obiturary here saying Venus is finished. Here is the link: http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/venus-williams-the-end-is-a-bit-closer-for-tennis-great-012111.
The white press are thrilled that Venus may no longer be a contender in Women’s Tennis. After all, if Venus retires then a young, white, blonde can have the spotlight on the WTA Tour.
Here is a conversation I had with a Montreal Gazette tennis writer Stephanine Myles. I e-mailed Stephanie because I objected to the harsh and negative article that was published about Venus Williams after she retired from her third round match at the Australian Open.Here is the link:http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/over+Venus+Williams/4150967/story.html.
Justine Henin has played poorly since her comeback to Women’s Tennis after her self imposed exile. However, the white tennis media quickly make excuses for Henin. If Venus is on the decline isn’t Justine Henin in the same boat? What about Maria Sharapova she hasn’t won a grand slam since the 2008 Australian Open! The white press seem to be very happy that Venus is injured I bet the white press would be very happy and thrilled if she retired.
Here is the e-mail exchange I had with Stephanie Myles.
Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 6:31 AM
Hello Stephanie, I think you are being a little bit too harsh on Venus Williams. Where is your article about Justine Henin’s decline? If Venus is on her way out so is Justine Henin because her comeback is not going that well. Henin is now more inconsistent than usual she’s losing to players she never lost to before. Henin’s serve is a liability she is double faulting more than usual too.
The Australian crowd’s attitude towards Venus was disgraceful and Wally Massur agrees with me. Venus is a classy woman and she went on court because she wanted to try. I agree that Venus is clearly out of shape and she probably shouldn’t have travelled to Australia but Venus is stubborn. I think Venus stuborn attitude is hurting her now. Venus is thirty years old and she has to come to grand slams fully fit and prepared to win. I still believe Venus can win one more grand slam I believe she is too talented to end up with only seven slam titles. Venus slams is not a bad number in this competitive era of women’s tennis but I’ve always felt if Serena wasn’t Venus younger sister she woulf of won a lot more slams.
Yes, Venus is thirty years old but Justine Henin is twenty eight years old and she’s isn’t playing great either. Henin lost to Samantha Stosur at the French Open and three times to Kim Clijsters last year. If Venus is on her way out isn’t Henin in the same boat? I watched Henin’s match was Svetlana Kunzetsova and I just was not impressed she tried to play a power game and made too many unforced errors. Also, Stephanie are you going to write an article about Maria Sharapova’s decline? Let’s be honest here, Sharapova may be twenty three years old but her loss to Andrea Petkovic of Germany was a shock. Sharapova just hasn’t played well at the slams since she won the Australian Open three years ago her serve is no longer a weapon and she double faults too much.
Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 6:58 AM
To compare Venus and Henin is a bit unfair, because Henin was out of the game nearly two years.
You can’t say someone has declined when they are just coming back. They are in different situations.
The thing about the night-session crowds is that they aren’t tennis fans the way the day crowds are. Most are given tickets by companies and stuff. Those who booed may not necessarily have been aware of her injury. But they know this. The tickets are expensive, and there are only two matches available for the night-session people (as opposed to the day session, where you can wander around the grounds and see lots of matches).
So they got seven points (and the mens’ match before was a dud, as well). You pay your money, you can boo whoever you like even if, as you quite rightly point out, it wasn’t very classy.
Of course Venus would have won more if Serena had never been born. And Roger Federer might have 25 majors if Rafael Nadal had never been born. Can’t use what-ifs.
I have written about Sharapova. But she also can’t be compared to Venus as she’s much younger. She’s dealing with a shoulder situation and she may never find her previous form.
She played terribly tonight.
Venus is in a different situation. As I mentioned, she has not won a major other than Wimbledon since 2001. That’s a decade. She’s been out there punishing her big body for 17 years even if she hasn’t played as much as the other girls.
It takes a lot longer to recover from injuries at her age and she has had leg issues for several years.
I will say this. With the Williams sisters out, women’s tennis loses some lustre even if there was a great display on today with Schiavone and Kuznetsova.
I just think we have to be realistic about Venus at this point. She hasn’t been a factor for years now – even at Wimbledon it has been a few years. Very, very tough to win seven matches at a major for her. And the “fear factor” is now diminishing, too.
I just don’t want to see her keep playing if she’s not fully fit. Nothing sadder than seeing an athlete who doesn’t know when to say goodbye. Some are quite satisfied with keeping on playing even though they won’t be contenders, just for the joy of playing. I’m not sure Venus falls into that category. What do you think?
Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 7:12 AM
Nobody told Henin to retire that’s her decision and now she’s paying the consequences. People like to bash the Williams Sisters by saying that taking self imposed exiles from the game and comeback. But Henin disappeared for two years and was arrogant enough to believe she would reach the top immediately. Henin’s results demonstrate her comeback is not impressive.
I believe the delight of the media that Venus is on the decline is indeed racially motivated. We will never see another Venus or Serena ever again in women’s tennis two black women that dominated a white sport.
Sharapova may be younger than Venus but she hasn’t won a slam in exactly three years as well. Sharapova is not as talented as Venus but the media always make excuses for her decline. Sharapova’ s shoulder is fine the problem is she lacks strategy and variety in her game. Once, Sharapova’s serve is off the rails she is able to be beaten by the women because she is not a good athlete. The media seem to be treating Sharapova with kid gloves and I think it is a disagrace. Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete according to Forbes Magazine and that is because she is white and blonde.
Justine Henin may be from Belgium but she’s still a white woman and a white woman is more respected in tennis than a black woman. Henin’s comeback has gone one for almost a year and her results are not impressive. Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters has gotten better and better and the media need to be focusing more on Kim than Justine. Kim is a nicer person, a better personality than Justine Henin. Henin comes across as just a very unhappy person she seems bitter.
You may disagree with me, but the Australian people’s attitude towards Venus has never been positive. Tennis is still culturally a white sport, and quite frankly, I believe if Venus was a white woman the Australian fans would never treat her with such disrespect.
I think it is impossible to ignore the fact Venus is a black woman that once was at the top of women’s tennis which is a white sport. For some sports journalists I believe they are very happy to see Venus on the decline even though she is the best ambassador women’s tennis has had since the days of Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. Venus is the one that forced the French Open and Wimbledon to pay women equal prize money. Yes, King and Navratilova pushed for equal prize money but they don’t have the star power and world wide appeal Venus has. In fact, the president of the French tennis federation admitted when Venus spoke out about the misogyny of women not getting paid the same prize money as the men he changed his mind. Venus Williams has a lot of power and a lot of fans Stephanie.
Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM
Orville, there really isn’t anything I can say or facts I can bring out that will change your mindset about this. So given that it’s nearly 3 a.m. and I’m still working, I will say good night ;-)))
It would take far too long to debunk the myths and erroneous assumptions you put forth below, just to try to buttress your argument. It would never stand up before any tribunal.
I’ve heard it from you before and you have not come up with any fresh, factual material to argue your case successfully.
If you had paid all that money to see a match, and you got seven points, you have every right to boo. That’s capitalism. I’m not sure what colour has to do with it although it wasn’t really Venus’s fault; the tournament must accept more of the blame. I think the crowd was booing the situation more than the player in this case.
Venus, unfortunately, has never inspired much love from the tennis public despite her talent and accomplishments. In my personal dealings with her, I have seen that she really doesn’t try to court such love. So you can’t have it both ways.
But you are wrong that anyone is getting joy out of Venus’s decline. She’ll be 31 this year. Did you think she was immortal? Give me a break.