Tennis and Our Problem With Black Women's Bodies

Clutch magazine's Britni Danielle says that the U.S. Tennis Association's treatment of Taylor Townsend has everything to do with biases related to race and gender.

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Clutch magazine's Britni Danielle says that the U.S. Tennis Association's treatment of Taylor Townsend has everything to do with biases related to race and gender.

Taylor Townsend has a body like Serena ... and that's a problem.

Townsend, the number one junior women's player in the world, nearly missed a spot in last week's U.S. Open because U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) told her they weren't going to finance her appearance in anymore tournaments until she got into better shape.

For years the sisters and their father have alleged that the USTA continuously overlooked racist incidents, and when the sisters first burst on the scene, Serena was seen as fat, out of shape, and too big to be a serious athlete (and the comments on many articles mentioning Townsend suggest the same).

If Taylor Townsend was overweight and unable to compete on the court, then I would agree that she needs to take some time off and focus on her fitness. But the USTA's insistence that the teen lose weight, despite the fact that she's the top ranked player in the world and is playing well (and many of the sport's legends are outraged at her treatment), shows that some don't quite understand that not all black women can simply fit into the stick-thin, cookie cutter mold of their mostly blonde competitors.

Read Britni Danielle's entire piece at at Clutch magazine.

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