NY Times Sports Pages Plays Race, Sex Cards: Racist Tennis, ‘Social Justice’ WNBA

July 13th, 2022 11:27 AM

New York Times sports columnist Kurt Streeter found yet another excuse to inject left-wing ideology into his ostensible subject: Lack of black diversity in tennis, both on the court and in the stands. In his diatribe “Achilles’ Heel of Cherished Prestige: All-Too-Rare Moments of Diversity,” Streeter began:

For the first time in nearly a half-century, a weekend at Wimbledon felt, and looked, different.

Nick Kyrgios and Ons Jabeur brought a fresh diversity to the men’s and women’s singles finals. Jabeur, of Tunisia, became the first North African player to make it to a singles final. Kyrgios, an Australian with Malaysian roots and a well-documented swagger that marks him as something wholly different from his peers, was playing in his first Grand Slam final. Jabeur and Kyrgios each ended up losing, but that is beside the point.

Astute article commenters wondered why Streeter was celebrating Krygios, who's notorious for boorish behavior and accusations of assault.

But when it comes to the diversity and opposing those icky unvaccinated people like Djokovic, the priorities for people like Streeter change:

In the stands, an all-too-familiar homogeneity. Aside from a dappling of color here and there, a sea of whiteness. To me, a Black guy who played the game in the minor leagues and always hopes to see it move past its old ways -- to see a lack of color always feels like a gut punch, particularly at Wimbledon in London.

Streeter hassled the few black faces he saw and found a few willing to indulge in racial paranoia: “There’s a lottery system for many of the seats. Some fans line up in a nearby park, camping overnight to attend. The cost isn’t exactly cheap.”

So what were the actual ticket prices? Streeter kept it fuzzy, but the cheaper tickets for early-round matches were cheaper than most English Premier League football tickets.

His other arguments were equally nothingburgers. While Streeter couldn’t point to anything specifically racist, he claimed tradition and even the all-white dress code were somehow hampering blacks from buying Wimbledon tickets:

There’s more to it than access and cost. Something deeper. The prestige and tradition of Wimbledon are its greatest assets, and an Achilles’ heel. The place feels wonderful -- tennis in an English garden is not hyperbole -- but also stuffy and stodgy and stuck on itself.

“Think about what Wimbledon represents for so many of us,” said Lorraine Sebata, 38, who grew up in Zimbabwe and now lives in London.

“To us it represents the system,” she added. “The colonial system. The hierarchy” that still sits at the foundation of English society. You look at the royal box, as white as the Victorian era all-white dress code at this tournament, and you cannot miss it.

If tennis’s problem is racism, then sexism is what’s stopping people from caring about the WNBA. The Times once again tried to guilt people into watching women’s basketball on the front of Monday’s sports section with “W.N.B.A.’s Fan Base Grows, And Grows Ever Less Patient.”

Remy Tumin found disappointed fans in Chicago at the league’s All-Star game: “There is a swell of engagement and enthusiasm for the W.N.B.A. as it plays its 26th season, but the league’s growing fan base has come with a critical eye.”

Never mind that the WNBA couldn’t sell out their All-Star game. Instead, The Times relayed complaints about pay disparity between the WNBA and the NBA, skipping the fact the NBA has subsidized the WNBA from the start.

Tumin segued into “social justice,” as if teams barking about abortion every night will attract new fans:

One of the greatest areas of growth for the league has been activism around social justice. The next wave of activism could be around abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Stewart called the decision “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” and said she expected there to be discussions soon about how to handle events in states where abortion is banned.