The tennis gets underway today at Wimbledon & well my first prediction is that Andy Murray won’t be winning the Men’s title at the All England Tennis Club this year & my second prediction is neither will any Black British tennis player be winning anything at the All England Club because well there doesn’t seem to be any British tennis players who are of Afro-Caribbean descent.
Plenty of British people of Afro-Caribbean descent have excelled in sports such as football, cricket, boxing, track & field, even when it’s come to Rugby Union which like tennis is considered somewhat of ‘middle-class’ sport in this country, but as with golf (a sport I personally detest!) we haven’t had many Black British people competing at tennis’s elite level as on Centre Court at Wimbledon, in fact I can’t recall of there ever being any Black British tennis players competing at Wimbledon period. The United States is a far more racist country then ours, yet when it comes to golf there’s obviously been Tiger Woods & with tennis there’s been the Williams sisters & prior to them there was Lori McNeil & Zina Garrison, so if a country such as the United States which has a far worse history when it comes to state sponsored racism & violent racial divisions can have Black people compete at an elite level in sports considered typically middle-class sports, why is it Britain can’t also produce Black British tennis players competing at an elite level?
Where do you find most top-quality premium tennis courts? The answer is at the local private members Country Club, the kind of establishment where your typical club member would likely call the police if they saw Black kids playing on the indoor tennis courts then encourage them to seriously take up the sport, sure there’s plenty of Country Clubs in the United States with the all the same middle-class racist bullshit that you get here, tennis is still very much a White middle-class man’s sport in the United States no matter how much John McEnroe tries to pretend he’s some kind of fiery Irish-American blue-collar working-class hero who gets mentioned by House Of Pain in songs of theirs, however there’s a key differences between the United States & here as to why they produce more Black tennis players, in the United States there are far more municipal tennis courts just as there municipal basketball courts in local neighbourhoods which is a major reason as to why the United States excels at Basketball, plus the United States has a whole athletic scholarship system with its universities though most commonly associated with American Football athletic scholarships do include other sports including tennis.
But it’s not just the racism keeping Black kids off tennis courts at the local country club thus preventing them from possibly excelling at the sport & one day appearing on Centre Court at Wimbledon which pisses me off, there’s also the issue of worker exploitation which pisses me off about the whole tennis establishment & in particular Wimbledon,
The ball-boys & ball-girls who chase around picking up balls for tennis players, getting them drinks at the change of ends & hold umbrellas over the players when on that rare occasion the sun comes out & beats down on the grass tennis courts in SW19, oh & who knows wipe the arses of tennis players if they need to take a bathroom break during the match, well they do get paid for waiting hand & foot on professional tennis players during matches at Wimbledon, but nothing comparable to the pay check any professional tennis player will receive for just showing up at the championships, some of these tennis players including Andy Murray are worth tens of millions of dollars or pounds, so even those quite a deal further down the tennis world rankings will have a couple of million in the bank, so me thinks they get paid enough as in far more then your average worker will get paid in their entire working life, they’re perfectly fucking capable of fetching their own fucking tennis balls & getting their own drinks at the change of ends, yeah fuck off to having some lacky getting paid a fucking pittance to wait hand & foot on their millionaire arses!
It’s not just having young kids getting paid a fucking pittance to fetch tennis balls for multi-millionaire tennis players, which won’t be the only worker exploitation which will be on display at Wimbledon over the next fortnight. Andy Murray back in 2014 signed a 4 year deal with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour worth a rumoured £15million & recently signed an £8million deal with sportswear manufacturer Castore despite it looking probable Murray will soon be retiring, okay nothing new in tennis players getting multi-million endorsements from sportwear manufacturers, I’m sure Rafael Nadal gets paid far more by Nike then Murray was paid by Under Armour, but whilst Nadal, Murray, Federer get paid millions upon millions by sportwear manufacturers to wear their garb, those who manufacturer sportswear garb for major brands such as Nike get paid shitty wages work in shitty sweatshop conditions in countries such as China or Indonesia, the kind of fuck awful conditions where if workers don’t stitch stuff correctly they have the shit beaten out of them before losing the job their entire family quite probably relies upon to survive. I’ll admit considering I’ve a massive collection of Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops which are manufactured by Converse who’s parent company is Nike, it might seem like I’m something of a hypocrite bitching about professional tennis players getting paid millions to wear sportswear made by workers who’s pay & conditions are truly fucking horrible, however I don’t get paid millions to wear Converse, they’re cheap & don’t look shite & you unfortunately can’t escape globalisation at the level of income I’m on.
Well I hope I’ve given you a few things to mull over regards the tennis at the All England Club before you settle down with the strawberries & cream & a glass of Pimm’s to watch Wimbledon.
Of course conservative motherfuckers will say I’m yet again knocking another British institution, hey I’m not wanting to take a wrecking ball to Wimbledon’s centre court or anything, I know I’ve something of reputation as something of an iconoclast, but here I’m just expressing what I see wrong & how it can be corrected, I’m sure millions of people get a great deal of enjoyment from watching Wimbledon including my own 96yr old grandma & I don’t want to take that away from them.