Meet Taylor Townsend, the 16-year-old star from Chicago who is currently the No. 1 junior girls player in the world. She won the junior Australian Open in January and is blazing her way through the U.S. Open teen tournament. If you take a look at her picture, you might flash back to Serena Williams circa 1999: muscled, powerful and young.The United States Tennis Association on the other hand see a fat person that is not even worth the price of admission. USTA officials stance is that her health is at issue ,what is understood by their words and behaviors is that she’s a fatso who deserves to be denied funding until and unless she slims down.Townsend attends a four-year, USTA-sponsored tennis academy in Boca Raton, Fla., which should put the organization on the hook for her coaching and tournament fees. But here’s how Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program, glosses his decision not to pay her way into the U.S. Open (forcing her mother to swallow the costs): “We have one goal in mind: For [Townsend] to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it’s time. That’s how we make every decision, based on that.”The USTA has fallen prey to the same sexism that plagued the Women’s Tennis Association when it tried to crackdown on the female tennis players grunting mid-shot: an expectation that lady sports be aesthetically pleasing.
So many times in recent history , women in sports get the ugliest treatment from the press, associations and people about things that have NOTHING to do with the players ability. Like the Olympiad that was mocked for her hair being sweaty and looking less than put together , Gabby Douglas the young lady who has made history twice over — she is the first African-American to win the all-around title and the first American, period, to win gold in both the all-around and team finals — it’s mind boggling why her hair has continued to dominate the headlines. Gabby Herself is stated to have said to her mom: “Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?”
I am personally sickened by these things. Our female athletes should stop being expected to become models ,I love Lisa Leslie and Gabrielle Reece but they are not exceptional because they are beautiful but because they play like a woman and the fact that they can be models is separate and should not be treated like the goal of being a female athlete . This beautiful girl is a healthy weight, she is CLEARLY in good shape since she can run all over the court. She is doing HER JOB , the USTA needs to be on theirs.