Navratilova: It is Much Easier for Federer to be Loved than Serena Williams

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martina navratilova4 Navratilova: It is Much Easier for Federer to be Loved than Serena Williams

 

18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova spoke out regarding sexism in tennis, stating that she believes it is still a big problem engraved in sports culture.

“Men still have more opportunities, more corporations are run by men, therefore they’re more ready to sponsor male athletes,” the 18-time Grand Slam winner told BT Sport. “Here’s a double standard, there’s no doubt about it in my mind. It’s still hard for some to accept strong women. With men, we’re so much quicker to accept their greatness. With women we doubt their greatness. I’ve seen it time and time again.

To further emphasize her point, Navratilova drew on an example between Roger Federer and Serena Williams. She believes that fans are more likely to accept a strong male character such as Federer prior to a strong female one such as Serena.

“It’s much easier for Roger Federer to be loved by everybody than for Serena Williams to be loved by everybody, just by the fact that he’s a guy. I don’t know how much of it has to do with Serena herself, how much of it has to do with the fact she’s African American and how much of it is that she’s a woman. In some ways people are willing to give people the mantle of the greatest of all time and at the same time they’re still not getting the respect they should be getting.”

Navratilova also mentioned that after “un-retiring” and returning to the WTA tour in 2000, the reaction she received was not as kind of that given to NBA superstar Michael Jordan, who also made a comeback around the same time.

“When Michael Jordan came back and played again it was ‘he’s unbelievable, he’s the best ever’ and when I came back and played some matches and won it was ‘there’s no depth in women’s tennis.’ With Serena it’s ‘she doesn’t have much competition.’ Well, Roger (Federer) didn’t have much competition for a while either but they weren’t bemoaning that fact, they were never saying there’s no depth in men’s tennis. They’re quick to say it about women.”

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10 comments
RosMDopwell
RosMDopwell

I agree  Serena is not being given the respect that she has EARNED. Being Black and coming from humble beginnings - is a problem with many of the Country Club Types, who earn the Large CEO Salaries which Finance and Support Tennis. It is an Expensive Sport as well... from balls - to shoes-  to racquets ... they are expensive and require frequent replacing.
Being A Lady is a Third problem.
AND - she stands up for her right, (to aggravate the above situations). Further more, she has the indomitable gumption, and the steely back-bone - to the extent that only Billie Jean Moffitt-King and Martina Navratilova had ~~ to STAND-UP and SPEAK-OUT ... when the authorities try to push her around.
Fans want a Roger Federer who is sweet and gentle with pretty strokes.  YET can embarrass his opponents. His  results and his fans keep his image alive and in the forefront. Serena has to fight for any recognition she has been able to eek out. Federer started from Scratch and every positive image was built  on that. Serena started from a Minus entity ... and had to fight (along side Venus Ebony Starr)  To be accepted at all. Their Dad -Richard -  was a Double Edged Sword. IF he was not so vociferous and belligerent, they MIGHT have been ignored, YET - If he pushed too hard they might just have been *Barred and Black-Balled" and never given ANY  chance at all. 



nevenera
nevenera

Roger has been fined for uttering obscenities at a line judge and in one case for violating the best effort rule.. i.e. he played so badly the ref concluded he essentially threw the game.  

There have also been allegations of his arrogance 

     "No, the point is that Federer was being arrogant – and not for the first time. After Andy Murray     gave him a thrashing in Cincinnati, he responded, "There's no reason to be [disappointed] because I'm on an incredible run. You always expect a loss once in a while. So when it happens, why be disappointed if I win over 90 per cent of my matches?" from the article Roger Federer hero or villan. 

  "I have a great record against anybody right now, so it doesn't really matter who I play in the final. I'll be in there as the big favorite. But I play my best in the finals, in the important matches. That's why I'm number one. There's no secret...I'm not overconfident, but very confident."
-- Roger Federer after winning the first semifinal in Cincinnati.


"I know I can beat him on any surface."
-- Roger Federer, eating some of his ego after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals.

So yes I agree there is a double standard as none of this is ever held against him.

maccain
maccain

"...how much of it has to do with Serena herself, how much of it has to do with the fact she’s African American and how much of it is that she’s a woman..."?  Stick with the first possibility. 

Serena jeopardized a lot of love with that foul-mouthed rant to that lineswoman at the U.S. Open, and then lost the love when she couldn't even a) admit she did it, b) apologize for it, and c) keep from giving a repeat of bad sportsmanship the next year.

Imagine Roger doing that.  Can't.

Plenty of women/black tennis players are well loved.  Why fish around for bigotry when it's obvious that fans like players who aren't arrogant and whiny?


Tts
Tts

Yeah ok it's totally got nothing to do with Serena's attitude or personality half the time...Roger is so well liked by most tennis fans because he is always the utmost gentleman on and off the court.

Thanks again for sharing your ridiculous ideas of racism and sexism playing a role Navratilova, couldn't you have just retired and disappeared gracefully, oh wait no you can't because you're a bitter miserable lesbian!

RosMDopwell
RosMDopwell

@nevenera  The Media does not spread Federer's tangles with Officials around - they are silent because Federer is *Their boy* so followers don't know of it. The Media have too much say . There should be more programs such as *THIS* to derive a more balanced outlook. We need  to rebuff those who are overly critical of hose like the Williams sisters. HOWEVER  - the haters shall still  publish HERE as well. We have to silence them by matching them in the volume of articles. sent in. Double Standards can only  be exposed via  sensible rebuttal. 

RosMDopwell
RosMDopwell

@maccain  Keep following and monitoring  (even take notes) ~~ You might surprise yourself by liking Serena.. 
Best of all ~~ Check what was said by  nevenera ...  regarding the flaws in Federer's  behaviour.  Go to Youtube ... there is an entire category of them.You don't need to imagine ...  look at the instances on video. 

nevenera
nevenera

@maccain Please list the number of black female players that have been number one in the world, have won more than one grand slam, and are "well loved"?  I can think of only one and that is her sister who is in some cases better liked.  As for arrogance, see my reply above regarding Roger.

nevenera
nevenera

@Ttsonly a bitter miserable individual would use a homophobic slur because they don't agree with someone's argument.  

As for Federer he has been fined for unsportsmanlike behavior, including using obscenities against a line judge.

RosMDopwell
RosMDopwell

@nevenera @maccain How long ago was this incident that kept being recycled? Could it be - that since there are few others to back it up, it needs to be kept alive by those who hate her?  It shall take a little while ~~ but Serena is ~~> *"Winning  Friends and influencing people (with apologies to Dale Carnegie)  
Serena did apologise (i) spoken on many occasions and (ii) in Print on several occasions. There was a time when Baseball, American Football and Basket Ball, where played primarily by White or fair skinned people ... now there is more exposure ... the blacks are - "showing their superior competence". {{ IN the Caribbean it can be seen in our cricket teams}}.I hope that you continue to follow Serena's Career ... looking microscopically  for u
nacceptable  behaviour for  I feel sure that in doing so ... you shall notice so many things to LIKE  about her! 

RosMDopwell
RosMDopwell

@nevenera  I agree ~~ I was just waiting for *"The Lesbian"  homophobic accusation  -  to be raised. I thought they would ALSO say that ~~ *"IF - she is going to be critical in the USA Why doesn't she go back to the Chez Republic. {{ In was due to *"The Freedom of  speech" -  that she was attracted to become a citizen of the USA }} NOW  - they want to deprive her - of said  freedom of speech.