Watch: USTA and tennis leaders gather in Black History Month roundtable
"For as much as tennis has given us, we owe that back to tennis ... it starts in the community. If they see someone that looks like them, doing things that surround the sport, you're likely to attract them."
As a part of the USTA's celebration of Black History Month this year, five tennis leaders of color gathered for an open conversation on the state of Black tennis in America from past, to present and future.
Joining moderator Martin Blackman, general manager for USTA Player & Coach Development, were the following participants: Ann Koger, one of the first women of color to play on Billie Jean King's Virginia Slims circuit, the precursor to the modern WTA tour, who was later the head coach at NCAA Division III Haverford College for 35 years until her retirement in 2016; former WTA touring pro Jamea Jackson, now a national coach for USTA Player & Coach Development; Sean Holcomb-Jones, manager of the Excellence Program and corporate activations for the USTA Foundation; and Jon Glover, a USTA national coach and the former director of player development at the Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Foundation, a USTA Foundation National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapter based in Philadelphia.
In the 45-minute open conversation, the esteemed panel discussed how they were introduced to the game, how tennis has reckoned with its past history of racial inequity, and how the sport can continue to move the needle forward in the future.
View the whole roundtable in the video below.