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National

USTA Statement on Current Events

June 01, 2020

Tennis is a sport that embraces all players, regardless of age, race or religion, gender and sexual orientation or nationality. It is a sport that is built on respect—respect for one another, and for the game itself. It is a sport with a long history of striving for equality and a proven record of trying to level the playing field of opportunity.

 

At the USTA, we challenge ourselves daily to embody the core values of inclusion and respect, and we challenge all Americans to do the same. The African-American community is an integral part of our tennis family, and the USTA stands unwaveringly against racism and injustice of any kind. We know that African-Americans have faced extraordinary hardships during our country’s history, and we are extremely disappointed, angry, and heartbroken that this community—and other communities of color—still face these agonizing and inexcusable hardships and dangers.

 

With an overwhelming sense of sorrow, we recognize this as unjust. Generations of tennis players have been inspired by the examples set by Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King and many more, who were instrumental in removing barriers to fairness and justice by epitomizing tolerance, inclusion and respect.

 

The USTA encourages all of us to reflect on the message and legacy of the exemplars of our sport to listen to the African-American community; and together seek answers that heal our communities. It is time to engage with our friends and colleagues of color, and to stand in solidarity with them. We know that these efforts are simply not enough, but as we consider our humanity and the humanity of all, we hope it is a strong beginning.
 

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