Tennis Re-Lived: Arthur Ashe


Hi this is Marion Bartoli. Mats Wilander. This is Mary Carillo. I'm stunned Rohingya. An Lleyton Hewitt I'm andy. Murray. This is Yannick Noah and you're listening to the tennis podcast. Hello and welcome once again to the tennis podcast and our second if two special tennis relived US Open relived episodes the first of them focused on out the Gibson and hope you've listened to and enjoyed and appreciated that and we hope you feel exactly the same about this episode about a man. Just, as important and significant to tennis and sporting world author Ascherman whose legacy. Lives on in the Tennyson sporting world and a man who. Both literally and figuratively looms over the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center of course, the the stadium. The biggest Tennessee Diem in the world is named after often the author stadium and there's also. The statue of bearing. One of his many many famous poignant quotes from what we get. We can make a living from what we give however. We. Make a life. Googling Great Arthur Ashe quotes by the way. Is quite an experience. It Stephanie Not a one pager it's seven pager at minimum. He was he was a man with. An incredible turn of phrase and credible skill with a tennis racket ending an incredible legacy. In the sport. And I think more. So than without fear Gibson whose history I was really not familiar with to to any degree Arthur ash. I feel like I did know quite a bit about coming into this. Certainly I. Was Alive during the period of his suffering with having contracted HIV AIDS in the late eighties and early nineties in his subsequent passing in the naming of the stadium. The Arthritis Stadium. And that meant that I was able to to go back in time and understand some of his history at the time but certainly preparing for this particular podcast really opened my eyes and I think the and openly is to listening to the stories of all the people that we've spoken to. As part of this journey we've got Matt's research into our thrashes. Well, she's. Just exhaustive as far as I can see, and I feel like we have an opportunity here for the many people that have that certain knowledge of him like I do to really build on that and for people that really know him by the name being on the stadium the Arthur Ashe stadium it's a chance to really discover y that man's name is on that stadium. Yeah I. Don't know about you might be three. This focus on Arthur ash. Now, it emphasizes for me kind of what we're saying the end of the gives them put cost a the importance of things like the naming of stadiums, they these naming memorial opportunities but also how insufficient they are, how, how, how, how they just it's not enough to put someone's name on something and think, okay job done with sufficiently remembering him an acknowledging his contribution because I know the name I know that he won the US. Open. All I knew the name that he won the US Open. I knew that he was a great activist and I I thought and enough because you know we say his name a lot but a definitely didn't know enough. And I'm glad to say hopefully we do. Now we're going to show that we need today. Yes quite a daunting podcast to do in in in some respects because it's almost impossible to do justice to the man he was and hopefully. Hopefully we will. But I mean the first time I became aware of Arthur Ashe was obviously knowing about his name on the stadiums I definitely do agree that it is so important that those. Those things exist in the sport and actually I, remember the one time I went to the US Open I found myself sitting on the stadium watching not a great match between Mindy Dennis Chiappa Valova mind was wondering and I thought what? What do I know about our thrash I actually sought out the bookshop that they have the US. Open on site and I, and I. Did, I went to. I went to find one of the books that was very useful for this research talking about his final in seventy five against Jimmy Connors. So I do think those those kind of little. Well I mean it's a big tribute ready to authorize to put his name on that stadium and they do help us. But equally, we have to play an active role in that and we have to go and search for more information ourselves and what I would sound thrashes. As soon as I began reading about him, I just wanted to read more and more more and I ended up. I ended up going getting a little bit carried away and reading a how. How how many days did it say you to read these six hundred page biography Arthur Thrash Matt I think I read it in five days? It was it was an awful lot of extended periods, yet it's been a deep dive even by your standards maps. And everyone should be salivating at the prospect of that because the research has been. Quite something formidable to behold. And there's certainly a lot to behold from the from the forty nine years of our thrashes arthritis life he was he was born in Richmond Virginia in nineteen, forty three the son of a policeman. And of course, he was born into a world where is strict restrictions were. Placed upon him everywhere. He turned places he couldn't go things he couldn't do Because of the color of his skin that was just. Reality. The people born into that world that time? and his mother died when he was six years old and I mean goes without saying that that would be a four hundred experience for for any child. But he is he's spoken. He spoke so much in his life about how just how formative that that was for him how much that impact is his every approached to the world And one of the quake, the dog out might which I can I can barely bring myself to repeat. About the death of his mother was terribly insistently acutely aware of an emptiness in my soul that I knew she could have failed. And I'm sure I'm sure anybody that's lost apparent. I'm probably at any time, but certainly in childhood can probably relate to those words but. Is just. Desperate sadness desperate sadness in those words I listen to an interview this morning with authorized from Nineteen eighty-four. A BBC radio four interview cold in the psychiatrist's chair with Dr Anthony Clare and he? All the way through the interview, his mother would come up as part of everything informed his decision making and his response to things and how he viewed life. and. Yeah. He he he said it had just an incredible offense on him and he he he had therapy and in order to try to understand why he behaved in thought things the way daddy said, he said what happens to a young boy when they lose them the age of six is that they block out all of the years that led up to that. So he says I have very few memories of that time because because it had such an effect on me. It's it's something that is touched upon so much. Isn't it my in in Raymond also news biography of evolved that you've read and? And how significant was in his his evolution is tennis play Raymond said tennis became the antidote to his melancholy and it became sort of quite well known didn't it? The the authorize used to get up and hit was thousand bulls before breakfast every morning he there all these recollections of him being this. This man sort of driven by some sort of a the`real force that people couldn't quite understand all go get a handle on and then. Even then even when he had turned to tennis, he then had to face the obstacle of tennis being a notorious, the elitist and racist sports. Honest. I mean he grew up in in Richmond and the Best Club in Richmond with the best course was but park and authorize shoes. This incredibly promising junior player was was never allowed to play. And he would tell stories about how when he when he became famous people would come up to him saying, Oh why I saw you playing bird part when you were younger and and he would know they were lying because he never played that and that was because of you know he was he was in the South Jim crow laws for in and he wasn't allowed to play. He was able to play in the park where his as you said, his father was the kind of. Gatekeeper of that park and he was able to play there. But all throughout his his childhood he was, you know he had to confront this and I think he was to. A little bit too young to be angry or embarrassed about that. But he did talk about how it leaves the skulls bruises on your psyche and he came to think of the world is this. As the segregated place anytime to think of his place as inferior compared to other people and I think this I think his childhood is incredibly. Important. As most people instead of shaping him and turning him in to the man that he was. Grow Up to be as this as this incredible guiding light and activist. Yeah friend who did the doesn't do about the Jim Crow laws. I'm sure all of our listeners in the states student and many elsewhere they were. They were the state and federal level laws in the US which legally enforced. Racial segregation segregation across across the south. which, of which, the state, of Virginia was apart. And, yes, they started to be road back in the early fifties I think in fifty four was when. It was declared unconstitutional the the public school state schools. Could enforce segregation, but it wasn't really until. The Civil Rights Act and if. Eight nine hundred sixty four and the voting rights act of nineteen sixty five. So you know when Arthur ashes well into his tennis career that the the Jim Crow laws were were officially legally. overruled he spent his whole childhoods. Legally legally segregated. LE- legally second-best to his his his white peers and even when he went off to college on the West Coast you went to Ucla He. There was a story that he was dating a white woman and the White Woman's mother refused to let our thrash into her house. Because he was black and that was the kind of racism that he had to confront not only growing up in Richmond and he thought that going out to the West a little bit of a an escape from all that and yet it was still there in his life at that stage and yeah, I just thought it was. Just an incredibly powerful tile of what he had to overcome. He was the first African American to receive a scholarship for college tennis. He went to Ucla He was also offered a place at Harvard, scholarship place at Harvard. But elected. KTLA. But his progress to that point was helped. Immensely by somebody that we had lost about in the out the Gibson podcasts Dr Johnson. Walter Johnson he sets up this I suppose now you would call it and academy. For fee young black players and they used to to travel the country and get them into competitions in and try and try. Talent sports. People that kids could be like authorized out. The Gibson were trail blazers and flag bearers for. Black athletes and. Yeah, YOU DUGOUTS A. Video made by the F. Each made by the tennis shown David's presented by America relate today about doctor. Johnson and the attempts at the moment to to rebuild and sort of immortalized the well his academy. Because it is it is such an important piece of tennis history and it was his nephew the had taken a on in in honor of him and the USDA had invested money to try to get the entire setup renovated, which was a single court at heart. It was a single court when when it began and that's what Dr Johnson invited and. Produced players from and Alcyone. Gibson being one author rash another and this interview I had with author earlier today. He talked about being a prolific reader of biographies and somebody who would pick out moments made people in their lives and he said that moments made me because if I had not been spotted on a tennis court by Dr, Johnson at that particular point in time, he just happened to be walking by and he saw me play. And I got my opportunity and that led to him being produced as a tennis player or brought along my guys to the interview we did with no or a few weeks ago and it was author ash spotting Yannick Noah on his tour. Of Cameroon and and bringing him over to to France, and suddenly we've got a guy who has won the French Open and it's done all the things that Yanic knows done and these moments in time. And Doesn't Dr Johnson from. We've heard about and read sound the most extraordinary person. Absolutely, and we're lucky to have to speak into a couple of people that that had the pleasure nor any. If if meeting also meeting Dr Johnson as well. We're GONNA hit I rem. From James Blake. He as you know by too few weeks ago about a number of issues but I mean authorized with an immense influence on his life increase delays authorities autobiography with cool days of Grace famously and James Blake. published. His book a few years ago cooled ways of grace. Obviously. echoing in tribute to a man that was hugely influential on his life. An US? We'll hear now at a at an extremely fundamental level and influence on his life. Are credited him indirectly with getting into tennis because he got he's the the inspiration from my dad getting into tennis and my dad wasn't into tennis. So I don't know what about my mom and I don't know if I would have been around and then I wouldn't have been obviously as interested in in tennis if my dad wasn't so so passionate about it. So and then when my dad taught me more about him obviously, I, was too young to really watch his matches except Santa a little bit on video later but So. For him I as I learn more about him, I got more and more inspired. My my dad taught me about him the way he conducted himself the factory valued education the way that he fought for for human rights throughout his entire career is probably better known for what he did for humanity even more. So than just being Wimbledon champion is was always hugely inspirational to me and. I kinda always thought about the fact that he when he was on top of the world or when he was in dire situations, you always thought about others I and that's something that makes a that makes someone a hero not being extremely talented and working hard and on the on the practice court and being a great champion. That's that makes someone impressive but really to kind of. Ball all it's being a hero is you know at the time when he was on top of the world, he's fighting to the radical apartheid from South Africa and using his voice platform for that, and then when he stricken with HIV AIDS, instead of using his wealth than using his celebrity to to make his life easier at that time, he tried to help others that are in tougher situation. that to me shows shows the true character of of an absolute hero. and. There's a lot in that we will be picking up on the of this podcast, his relationship and traveled to to south. Africa is incredibly tragic and untimely death and and his legacy in terms of. Activism and and athletes in tennis by his involved and activism but just to stay on the chronology of it all and. And the significance of Dr. Johnson. In in the development of if authorisation many other black players where we're going to hear from from Lucielle now. They had time. They didn't coincide with author. She also spent some time. Dr Johnson's academy. And she had firsthand experience if if the man and exactly how influential he was, we call them Dr J. Dr Jay's one court and his house of Foursquare House. If the lot was one hundred by one, hundred, all of this magic happened on that one court in that one space. so Dr Johnson was the head of the junior development. So any aspiring or top junior player was sent to his house, his his camp most people went for the summer, and then it was a lesson in had an advocate this world. So you had desert and time and have table manners. Weren't allowed to go off the property of his house essentially all these rules regulations that he had around US training, and what we did was to keep these children safe because they were traveling in the deep south in the sixties. and. So for me. He talked about how? When, how your demeanor on the court was essentially stoic And if a ball landed close to the line and you weren't sure it was in without a doubt. Was the ball was in so All of these things which seem to be onerous or difficult to a kid. I was probably eleven therefore a couple of weeks I didn't I didn't travel. I realized. He made it tough for us so we could survive him. When we got out into the world, whatever our world was going to be, it was going to be kate because nobody hit challenged just like Dr J.. And we heard a little bit about this. The Gibson didn't mean that that quote that Johnson was preparing them for world didn't want them. He was preparing them for a white world. He was drilling into them. They didn't have the luxury. The privilege of being able to question line cools because they wouldn't be treated fairly they would and they would be categorized as an angry black person he they were to to. To turn the other cheek no matter what injustice they were facing inside the lines of a tennis. Cool. All R- outside of them that the aim of Dr Johnson's to produce tennis players that were too good to be ignored by a world that. That wanted to try and ignore them. And I think in all the reading you do about after action whenever you hear him talk you hear that influence come through the way even if he might be raging inside even if he might be doing the most. Significant activism possible. He's doing it in a manner that he will not allow anybody to take shots at him as a result of his Mana will never be called into question whether he's on the court whether is. in life. Has the same disposition and it seems to all come from this rearing by Dr Johnson and that was something his father told him as well. He said what you've got is your good name and you and you need to maintain that and Just just on Dot Johnson that I was, I was pleased to read that he was posthumously inducted into the tennis hall of fame in two, thousand, nine, I think. So at least his very, very significant contributions have been recognized in that way as well. Yeah. Works to. Salvage and restore in immortalized the his academy of our ongoing say Kademi as Lizzie Allen described that it was just one court, one cords and kind of A. A A yen adjoining house Extraordinary So yeah, he pauses under Dr Johnson's Cheech Lidge he becomes the first African. American to receive a college scholarship. He goes to UCLA which of causes is where Jackie Robinson had gone. He was in the closet if nineteen, forty, two and Ucla had kind of pride. So prided itself on being a pioneer for creating african-american athletes it still wasn't It wasn't equality equality if. If ATHL- athletic students by any means, and it was very much more sort of headlines. Just without. Will let one black person in shout and scream about how we're letting black people in wasn't like that it's a little bit certainly better than nothing And he was playing. Grand Slam tournaments while in Amateur Ucla it's something that I hadn't realized the tool it was before tennis became open in in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty eight but he was a UCLA students entering Grand Slam tournaments its first US nationals which the tournament that would end up becoming the US Open was in one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, one, nine, hundred, fifty, nine sorry and he faced Rod Laver in round one. Yeah He. And he lost in straight sets, but it was interesting because I think he knew that that was what he wanted to do. He was obviously training hard for it, but he didn't know that it would bring about any kind of financial or professional security or employment because as you said, tennis tennis wasn't open yet. So he wasn't sure that he was going to even be able to make a living out of tennis at. That stage and yet he was still as you said, studying college going around playing Grand Slam tournaments a completely different world. It's quite difficult to kind of get your head around the sort of balancing act that would have to go on when that was happening, but it was it was normal the time and he and he was doing it and Charlie Pasarell, who is his close friend that Ucla was also doing it and It's kind of extraordinary to think now. Have, been the coolest guy at college. I'm just off to play the French Open back into weeks well, if I D well back in two weeks. Yeah, extraordinary had no I had. No I did. That I was I was aware that he was the the first man to win the US Open in the opener but I had no idea he'd been. Toiling, away on the tour amateur still say Juggling College studies with all for for many many years before that. He became the first black player ever selected for the US. Davis Cup team in that was in nineteen sixty three's that was five years before before he won his first Grand Slam and that was the the US Open in nineteen, sixty eight the very first ever open-air winner. If the US Open and of course, when he won that tournament in order to maintain that Davis. Cup Eligibility. Anti time away from from G. T., to to play the most significant tournaments author which required to maintain his amateur status. I'm because of that, he couldn't accept the fourteen thousand dollars if prize money for winning the US Open and that prize money was instead given to to Tomioka the man he beat in the final while while Oth- receive just twenty dollars a day expenses. For his win. It's extraordinaire isn't it to think about that? Now when you consider they're getting three million dollars, whatever it is to to win the US Open did you think he had to submit receipts? Expenses. Subway tickets. At least Lisa thrash went on and straddled those areas, and again, we brings you back to one to to listen to those healthier Gibson stories. Again of of how that was her life that was her tennis experience of just not being able to any money. Let's. Let's hear a little bit more about that USA pin win in one, thousand, nine, hundred, Sixty, eight, and let's hear it from. From one of Tennessee's great historian Steve flink that that Ma, his has been talking to. and. For FESTIVA author thrash with incredibly instrumental to him at a very important time in his life. Be inspired me a lot. I mean again I, I started watching the mid sixties. Arthur was arthur was starting to peak. I think the I sorta major step toward his peak was nineteen, sixty five and that was the year that I was. I had seen my first Wimbledon and my first US championships. The summer of sixty five as I was. Twelve turning thirteen and. Arthur, made this great run to the semifinals up at four stills and I watched him beat Roy Emerson which is a big win and. It was he was so exhilarating to watch. He was the the his game was so dynamic and and so He was very adventure. Semi was his spectacular shotmaker with this Wonderful backhand. He could do anything he wanted his back inside and hit the most flamboyant winters he had. He had a great serve, which again was the anchor of his game, and so you you didn't always know what was coming. They were streaky patches. This combination of this explosive game that he had? And then the STOIC personality I found it kind of irresistible I love the fact that he was so cool. So composed and yet. Spoke so loudly with his racket expressed himself. So beautifully with his racket where the types of shots the attempted to hit. So yes, I mean that was a big deal for me personally, because sixty five was my baptism with the game you might say, and that was when that sort of led me toward the career I was going to have. became so immersed in it, and that was the year that I started falling at the with sort of religious fervor and he he played a major role in that I was inspired by watching Emerson Win Wimbledon that year but I think Arthur was particularly inspirational figure and he remained so in the years to come and I would later get to know him pretty well also but That summer sixty five no doubt. He played a pivotal role for me. And how did the crowds react to him when he was playing? Was it similar similarly inspired as you do you think? Yeah I I. Think the clouds loved him I think the clouds loved them. Again there was there was this sort of a mystery of what was going to happen next because you know he wasn't afraid to fail in the sense that he would go for it. He would he would Sometimes try shots that were against the you know weren't necessarily percentage shots. Layers career became a little more percentage oriented by the early to mid seventies but. He he was just so daring. He was so audacious with what he was trying to do on the court. and. So the galleries they did respond to that end because he comported himself so beautifully. the crowds especially, the American crowds were wholeheartedly with them. They loved archer. And he won the first US Open, the Open era. What are your memories? Yes he did. That was so memorable that first US Open of sixty eight because there was, he was seated fifty was considered a prime candidate for he was considered. Prime would be the wrong word he was he was given an and more of an outside chance to win but the prevailing view that Labor Rod. Labor. Won Wimbledon Ken Rosewall. John Newcombe. Who was the WHO had won the last amateur van and sixty seven lot of these guys were th the Australians especially when they were the heavy favorites and Arthur they had a great summer and I'd been in the semi finals of Wimbledon was giving a a reasonable chance, but it didn't look that good because. He was going to have to play Labor. the top seed. You know it just worked out number one versus five in the quarter-finals there were slated to play, but then cliff drysdale. Who would come out of South Africa is now a renowned commentator living in the United States and great two handed back in cliff upset Labor in five sets and that opened up everything for ash because he loved playing Drysdale. That matchup was far more favorable to him than than playing the left-handed Labor, and then he went on to beat his Davis Cup team-mate Clark grader in the semi he beat Tom Aqua The Netherlands in the final art there was still an amateur at that time. So he couldn't take the prize money some some nice people with. What he did try to send him some money later on, they wanted him to have the money, but he couldn't take the way the money, but it hardly mattered in a way because what he had done to ignite American tennis by winning the first. US Open against the odds. And probably against his own expectations was was just spectacular. Yeah just an an absolutely dropping spectacular moment. In Tennessee history, I, obviously. Not even. David Law was born at that time, right? But I. I do get the feeling that it was a moment that was seen as such at the time. It's not something I mean obviously it's grown in significance overtime as well as as Arthur became even more significant not just as a tennis player but is an activist and all of that and everything came come after is enhanced it but I, get the impression Matt that this was a world stops turning jaws drop. Everybody pays attention moment at the time in one thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, eight. Yes I really think so and I think it was also enhanced by the fact that Ash beat as Steve linked set their clock grabner in the semifinals and that became. The story of that match became a book called levels of the game written by John mcphee, which is. which is seen as one of the sort of great feats of journalism. Really of sports journalism because I was reading the Joe mcphee sat down for hours with both Clark and our thrash both incidentally great blouses whereas it was a, it was a match of both players wearing glasses and he sat down with them both and sort of went over the match with them and got their thoughts and he just presented this incredible profile of that matches. As contrast really and it became very well known avai significant. An author ash became became very big as well and I love the enthusiasm in Steph links voice there when he talks about. Because, he's obviously a very passionate tennis man stifling, but he's he's interested in the numbers, the statistics and the records, but to kind of, Hey, him get quite emotional talking about our thrash I found was really quite touching and probably an indicator just how significant ashes rise was and how transformative it was for people watching him I watched some of the footage of that final before we started recording just. To try to get a feel for it and and that's what I think. You're describing in a way as you say, Steve Was Greg Putting things into perspective in terms of the significance, the statistical significance of various records and achievements. But as you say, there's more to him than that and when you watch shark thrash, you can understand why he gets people why people end being drawn to watch him because. You don't know what's coming next when in that final, you're watching some of the shotmaking and the is the thoughts Aussie emanating from him to his rackets and the things he's able to do. He's he was a spectacular sight I didn't realize quite honestly how Imaginatively tennis player was and what A. Dynamic player he was. Very. Athletic Powerful. And you know I'm coming I'm coming to get you with my game and it's It was fantastic to watch. He he put together a seventy two and ten win loss record for that year in nineteen, sixty eight, and he hoped the USA to to win the Davis Cup. As. Well, and of course, as we've heard he, he had to maintain his amateur status in order to to maintain his selection for for the Davis Cup and he went on to win subsequent Grand Slams. He won the Australian Open in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy. So bit of gap before he won his his next one and three beat decreed in the final there, and then there is a gap before he wins his next one and that comes at Wimbledon in nineteen, seventy, five and we're going to hear now from Amman. The say contributed to our Alpha Gibson put cost of course, Richard Evans who he of course recalls the one, thousand, nine, hundred, Sixty, eight USA win. But even more than he recalls his Wimbledon Win in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, five saying as you hear now that that for him was his greatest ever moment. His moment of tarring Lori was beating Jimmy Connors Wimbledon and nine hundred seventy five. I'm in. That was the. Single most. Intellectually. Interesting match ever see. Because he played totally contrary to his style Jolly Throw Donald, Dell, and he. Attached to the playboy club, which was one block COUPLA roads from the Hilton Pot game those days and was. Sort of hang out some of the players and the night before they went out and had dinner an unplugged victory and they give me commas that year. following on from his nineteen seventy four when he was winning everything was considered to be invincible in the locker room. No one saw. they could beat in. No one gave up any hope because he'd Austin lost to connors and Connah's was on the five and people said, well, you know be lucky to get a set and he went out there and played completely different. to He ever played before or again, he just took all the pace of the ball. And lobbed and Dropshot, and softball, and pushed and inked and Jimmy who was a small man and couldn't generate his own even with that desperate racket he played with. Wilson t two, thousand he needed the power of his opponent. To hit winners and suddenly he had nothing to play with. And especially on the with these left hand grip. If you got him the net and Dink Tim low on the forehand side. He literally could not get the ball in play. It either went into the net or it went long. It was Ju- geometry if you if you got it in the right place, he could not volley the ball back into the opposite cold. And that's what I did frequently and Jimmy was completely bewildered. lost. The first set straight usually came back and won the sudden and that that was when authors it's. Incredible sort of intellect and bring PA and and. character came into because. Having lost the third set a lot of people would have panicked and reverted to the norm. You know, Oh, my God it's not anymore. Let's go back to playing tennis the way I know how? He didn't he didn't panic and he just went on softball him and he fell apart or ever again. And Jimmy was was suing author and Donald L. and the ATP game time Kit with the moment of considerable celebration. Yeah we'll just to fill you in on the the the details that that Richard referenced at the end. Oth- rash was was instrumental in the founding of the ATP. Of tennis professionals in Nineteen, seventy two and he became the association's President in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, four. So year before this Wimbledon final against Jimmy Connors at which time ash and connors relationship was raw strain because connors was suing the ATP of which Ashes President for ten million dollars for what he alleged was restraint of trade. Of. The and French officials opposed. His. Entry to the nineteen seventy four French Open? Because he was contracted member of World Team Tennis. And just two days before the start of Wimbledon in one thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, five been announced that connors. With. Suing ash for himself a five million dollars for comments in a letter acid written to ATP members in his role as president that criticized Connors insistence that Davis Cup captain Rolston should be fired and corn is unpatriotic boycott if competition which started after Olson, left him out of the team against the West indies Jamaica in March of Seventeen T. On final day on Finals Day ash pointedly, and symbolically will red white and blue response throughout the match and more. His USA emblazoned Davis Cup WARMUP JACKET WHILST WALKING OUT ONTO Centre Court and during the awards ceremony while receiving the trophy and a winners cheque for ten thousand pounds. Seen after the final connors dropped the libel suit I. Love the fact that he is suing him for five million dollars when ashes only picking up twenty three thousand for winning winning Wimbledon. So that money coming from. That jackets iconic those in it. I'd I had never I had never watched that final against communism fortunate. The the full final is doesn't seem to be available I've watched snippets of it here and there, but I knew that image of our thrash in. USA Jacket Yeah it's It's wonderful image tonight she. Is About a twenty five minute highlights package that Wimbledon puts out of that final and it was really something to watch back to back the sixty eight us. Open. And then the seventy five Wimbledon and to see the difference with how ash plays and The only thing I can liken it to is is, is something you see more on? In clubs and parks where one player just isn't playing pretends that the other player but he's beating you, you're trying to play properties and the other players just trying to lob you and dinkiest and Msu about and not play normal tennis but he's doing your the highest level imaginable successfully on Wimbledon's centre court to beat Jimmy Connors and I. It's just. I mean you you imagine if you saw it now you would imagine the crowd almost laughing at some of the shots, your data t of a player to resort to tactics like that but they were wonderful moment in their match rashes reeled off. A string of games I think six or seven in a row and someone in the crowd. Shouts out come on Jimmy and he replies I'm trying for Christ's sakes and. Just kind. Of. How irritating it was to be playing catch on that day as you said with his mumbling and he's thinking and is incredible tactics but yeah, I mean ash ash really didn't light Jimmy Connors in this biography. That I read they. Actually quoted author, she's diary and he had apparently written that every time I passed in the locker room, it took all my willpower and not to punch him in the mouth. You know he he really didn't like Jimmy Connors. He thought he was selfish and arrogant, and he didn't appreciate his attitudes. Davis. Cup weeks for our thrash was. Probably the most important competition in his career Davis Cup. And all of these things might you've just described? Oh Character traits he shed with. John McEnroe. Hatred. Of Jimmy, Connors and I love the Davis Cup and one of the things I was struck me most about. reliving the actually it wasn't really it. It was for our worst ever Grand Slam finals episode. When I subjected myself to some of the nineteen eighty-three men's Wimbledon final where John McEnroe just eight Paul Chris Lewis for breakfast. What's Will stuck out for me maced was John McEnroe willing a replica of authorize. Davis. Cup Jacket from nine hundred and seventy-five John McEnroe hero worships author ash and that they careers every briefly coincided but he he knew more. As a as his Davis Cup captain and we can have them now and interview that that David did with. John. McEnroe a while back on on why and how he he loved the author I actually met Arthur. Pretty, early on and play doubles with him as an amateur he took me under his wing a little bit which was pretty nice for him to do because here he is this guy he's the consummate gentleman being with sort of this young hothead and so he he sort of gave me like credibility in a sense that I wasn't just this wine her spoiled kid. In so that meant a lot from that standpoint and Obviously. He helped tennis a lot because of. The way he played was Considered at the time as a big hitter, and then all of a son he out thought. At Wimbledon solve a sudden, there was like well. You know this. This approach is really interesting that you came in with a totally different game plan. So when he'd beaten Jimmy and seventy five Wimbledon, that was an unbelievable thing. And also he he was Davis. Cup captain for a number of years and We had a lot of good moments probably more often than on. We had a lot of good talks and Half the time during the match he was chasing me trying to get me to stop yelling an umpire whatever. But we had some good times in labs and It was just really tragic to SORTA. Seemed like so unlucky because I actually played him in the masters in seventy nine. I was my first major title. I beat author and a very close match in the final and If felt like his time was way too short but certainly has influenced me was. I love hearing John McEnroe. Hearing and seeing John McEnroe we need just. Yeah is. Just like sort of Bouncy kid about somebody or order. Slightly uncall- could teenager the. Talking about someone that he thinks is really cool. He's like it would be onboard his name. I love hearing that come across in the way he talked about Arthur ash. He gave me some credibility. I. Love that line. Yeah. Now, and he did us to talk about beyond Bogan, that way of somebody kind of. Even though Arthur Ashe clearly disapproved of a lot of John McEnroe and he's quite quite open about that. He also loved him and sold a lot of him and it was one of those he they they put aside their considerable differences and. Almost like brothers in a away older brother and a younger brother and I think it was. It's it's lovely to hear that and as much as Arthur Ashe's considered. Deliberate. Approach was part of who he was also part of him that he would he would say was somebody would sometimes get fed up with being the nice guy and he would occasionally say that he would he just loved one day where he could behave like John McEnroe and the. That would be acceptable. What does the Allen was saying but he knew that if he'd behave like that, he wouldn't have been kind of palatable to a lot of people. But Yeah I just find this relationship between Asha Makomo. So interesting for that reason and also that Davis Cup because Makomo was part of this team of highly strung players and then you had all thrash the kind of coup captain on the side and I think that A lot of incidences where. There were maybe close to some fallings outs. But authorized, let them to two consecutive victories as captain when he first became captain and. That was that was a great honor for him to be. Davis Cup Captain Tony Tony Trabert to Ben Davis Cup captain before and and he said look we didn't have a list of WHO's the next Davis Cup captain. You're the only one that we want to be the next one and assumed that role and I think I think eventually. There was some controversy over the fact that people thought was being too political while he was in that role as Davis Cup captain didn't think ash out ever outwardly said that but it certainly what he felt and that was perhaps why he was I think she cost aside from that road as he was co captain and the results went downhill a little bit. But to start with he was he was expelled successful captain with very good players but very difficult players to manage in terms of John McCain ruin, Pizza Fleming. Because he was he was political during his career in his own way. He was more political than healthy. Gibson. Will come onto. Two, more overtly political than our outfits and but we'll come and talk about the for for some people. They didn't consider him to be political enough. But. He obviously grew into the role of activism embraced it more and more after his retirement in in nineteen, seventy nine. But he was he was active and juggling this all throughout his career one of the. The ongoing themes of his career stall sing connor the saugus started in nineteen sixty nine was his relationship with South Africa was in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, nine that he was he I applied for a visa to be able to play there, and he was denied because of the color of his skin. He was he was finally accepted and offered a visa to play in south. Africa. Open in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, three and he wrestled I believe mark with the decision to go. And and it was a huge huge deal that. That he did go and it came hand in hand with a lot of criticism. Yeah the strikes me that the reaction to him going was. Almost almost schizophrenic. He's come into go but there was this divide over whether his presence. There would be a good thing and as you said, he took a lot of criticism people could him an uncle? Tom Or they set his visit was tokenism more. kind of propaganda on the on the part of the government in south. Africa to kind of use him as this this porn really to kind of show show the world that they were making progress when the reality was actually very different and apartheid was still in place But it it does that reaction does strike me now is unfortunate because you know the reason ash was denied a visa was because he was so outspoken and publicly critical of the South African government's regime and. He believed in a kind of gradualist approach I think to activism and he thought that. His presence there breakdown some stereotypes, and he wanted to engage with the issue constructively and see it for himself and and he thought that small concessions and. The. South. African government granting him entry was a small concession would incline and go towards greater progression and he had this sort of long-term level-headedness vision for it. I. Think he called himself a little bit of progress and. Donald Dell who is actually each would say that. He would see the faces of children who watch Arthur ash and. Kind of there will be some inspired by him, and even even the image of a of a white boy giving Arthur ash, the ball. Rather than the other way, round was was inspiring to a lot of kids and I think. Sort of the long term impact of arthritis South Africa trip is incredibly important and. Nelson Mandela when he eventually got released from prison and was allowed to go to America. He was asked if he wanted to meet and he said how about man Oh thrash and I think that's just an indication of the good the date by kind of persevering with his. Pants to go to South Africa and make a difference. And the. Speculation, wasn't that that he later regretted. The decision that He. Made at the time to gauge south. Africa. That is something that the Richard Evans over the course of my conversation with the wasn't the case he had conversations. He says with all the latest stages of his life where he he definitely didn't feel regret about about his his decision and. He would have he would have received criticism he had he not decided to go I mean he he couldn't one hundred percent win without without decision I call Konta matching the strain of juggling all of that with say being a professional tennis play but generally did seem to me that he his view of himself was was very clear although I'm sure he would have wrestled with these situations as they come along. Once. He came to a view he. Quietly went about. Thermally. Believing in what he was doing leading by example being out there and showing. By actions rather than using just his voice. And I think that was one of the reasons why? Maybe during his playing career, he wasn't always as activists people wanted to be because as you said, David he was he was so considered about these things he wanted to properly think them through and am kind of thing. Okay. What is my stance? On this issue? He was a voracious reader and he wanted to be. He wanted to be informed about things before he spoke about them six, he sort of took his time but usually he would he would develop into this kind of person of a full blown activism rarely but it did take a little bit of time. He'll. He'll say clearly knew the the his chances of having an impact would be that much greater. Once he'd won once he made a name and being successful and it was a lot easier to be listened to. He definitely should l. `this view that he wanted his racket and his behavior to allotted talking that he wanted to to lead by example but the where he died diverged from his approach, he was he was more comfortable with the sense of responsibility. And the burden of that responsibility he accepted it whereas I'll that quote from her out, she totally believed in the power of the individual and she will let rejected the sort of sense of a collective, a collective of her. Of Her representing anyone representing a rice off the definitely. Definitely embraced representing his being representative for his rice and and will the the burden that came with that And he embraced his his role as an activist and that's something that. That we're going to hear now from from both Leslie, Allen and Mary Carillo talking about the the memories of all thrashing his his growing role live the course of his life as activist I saw him as an activist and somebody did speak out versus I feel as though out thea one being a female and coming years just just integrating tennis of few years after Jackie Robinson Integrated Ball. She could risk speaking out and she. Was let my racket do my talking. You know I'm I'm I. DON'T I. Don't have to be the the spokesperson for the race or the active, this further race versus. Arthur felt like he had that responsibility that he had a platform and that he wanted to use his voice right from the start when he won the first open. So could he be a spokesperson for every 'cause now and that might have been where pushed back came from? My memory of him, even from a young age that he was that he was profoundly decent men. But he who had kind of knew he had to be measured and had to be thoughtful when he had to decide whether to go to south. Africa to play. Exhibitions there and? There were black set railed against them. There were whites that railed against him. They were tennis players thought he was doing the wrong. He again he stood apart his stood and he. He size up the situation for himself he knew that if he were to play. In a country of apartheid and there were little boys and girls of color who could see this man With all this freedom. With all this personal power walking around. He knew that was more important than any Kinda heat. He would take from anybody else. So I think he had to make a lot of decisions like that more than anything. I. Remember Arthur. You know if you've read. Books Days of grace. Especially, this is the guy who talks about. How if you do have the chance and you really want to stand up for something you believe in getting arrested isn't importantly good thing for you. He marched against apartheid. He marched for Haitian refugees like whatever wherever he saw injustice. Unfairness. He felt. All right. This is worth getting arrested for if I can draw attention to this. If. I can speak out against this if I can make people more aware. then. That's something I should be doing with my time. For the sake of my parents has edited out the section of that conversation my pledged to marry that I will get arrested more often. That's what I've learned. Always take the advice of Mary Carillo. That's what we agreed upon isn't it and? We will come on to talk about the the the yeah. The the arrests that that are authorized endured over the course of his his growing activism. One of them was just just five months before his death when he was in really ill health, I mean just an extraordinary story but. Just to to pick up the on the criticism that are thrash received as an activist from from some of his from some of his greatest peers, there was a lot of debate at the time and lot of criticism from the black community of authorized for his not being more involved in the civil rights movement. Again. From Donald Dell he said I was once in a meeting with with author Andrew Young House in Atlanta and nine hundred and sixty eight. He recalls they were thirty five or forty black leaders in the room author just on the US Open and was a big name then and Jesse Jackson yelled out brother Ash you have to be more outspoken shout and yell and be a stronger hell-raising leader I. Remember the turned him and said Listen Jesse I'm not you I don't do it with my mouth. I. Do my racket and that's the way I wanted to be and everybody in the room chair. It was the damndest thing the reaction of all the people in that room. But, yeah, you had you had mohammad-ali in John Carlos and Jackie. Robinson all. Pushing. The envelope for civil rights faster and faster, and an did see moderate by by comparison and Jean. King, even once commented sort of. In relation to that I'm blacker than author. because. She spoke I guess what she meant was she spoke out more for the the calls than than off the did. He had his own way of doing things. Yeah I, think I think that was one of the reasons why later in his life he would he would as as we've heard, go onto get arrested for these things and put himself out there even more because he said as my fame increased. So did my anguish I don't think he felt ashamed that while others kind of fighting injustice and taking part in the civil rights movement, he was playing tennis like he knew he was still. He was still breaking down barriers and being trailblazer but I think he felt like in the rest of his life like he needed to make up for lost time bit and just just do more and and he would say he couldn't. He just couldn't sit sit by the woke go by and. He thought it was you know if you were black there was there was a mandate for you to do something and speak up if you had a platform And Yeah. There's that quote as well that he hated justice more than he loved the decorum, which was how he kind of justified those two arrests and. Yeah, I think I think there is a there is a definite. Difference between his activism when he was player and afterwards. We're GONNA hit just one last time now from from Richard Evans reflecting on. On the criticism he received. As as an activist from from fellow activists and just some some final words from it should on on how on how he remembers also. was criticized. Jesse Jackson who is the complete opposite to you? Big loudmouths guy. He something came up at a meeting. And Some said something about militancy and Jesse shouted across trouble with you as you know militant enough. And he had to put up with that all the time and then of course when the hell AIDS thing started result. an even greater side of author and how he handled it and. Everyone was very proud of him. You Know I. Not being that way and trying to, I don't often say that I love someone. A man. But I. Loved. Awesome. There is something about that was very lovable. he had. A strange sort of. Personality was winsome and interesting and. Funny, innovative low key sort of way. But he he was just lovable guy and very special special man. That lost line from from Ichitaro these last few lines how he loved author they were right at the end of my conversation with him. We'd been on the fame for about forty five minutes and you know he'd spoken in great eloquent detail about what a wonderful man of the was. would a would impact it had on him personally richards had. been on those trips to South Africa with Russia had witnessed. All of those things personally had had had a good. Personal relationship with him and I had the privilege of if knowing him. And still it felt like that just spilled out at the end like he just had to. Get off his chest. There was this compulsion to confess his love. For this man and. It was so powerful. and it really it really stopped him in in my tracks. I think anybody that knows richards and I've not infamous in twenty years. He's in his eightieth year now and. He's been around as we heard in the Gibson story since nineteen sixty covering tennis sixty is. And he doesn't like that. I mean I really got on well with him. He's if formidable character in a debate. At times and and can be quite scary sometimes but he's always somebody that's. Absolutely, encyclopedic about the game very forthright in his opinions and views and strong and I've never heard him talk about anybody else and and I agree went on. Those words as well I mean. Yeah. It's really says something. And you can hear something similar kind of every everybody that we've spoken to they all have. That certain something in their voice when the when they're talking about him for sure as as as you said Steve, link is a very forensic methodical. Scientific man in his approach to tennis in its history and it was like so does something Cavo came over him and when he was talking talking about author ration. We're GONNA share with you know some classic Mary Carillo Content. some have have. have. Favorite recollections of of author from from the as including her I almost meeting with the man. I I met Arthur's apartment. Would you like to hear more at? This is this is a this is a great story in an especially because it's true the year that John McEnroe got to the semi's of Wimbledon and became John McEnroe nine, hundred, seventy seven. There was a there was a sports caster in and I don't know if you know of Howard cosell in Great Britain. He was a very famous sportscaster. Howard cosell is doing a. TV Show and one of the big segments is going to be on John. McEnroe and what he's eighteen year old hat was able to do that summer. So Howard was going to speak to Arthur ash who was a good friend of his they done some TV together for. They're gonNA TALK TO ARTHUR ASH and they're gonNA talk to me because I didn't you know John's present and future was ahead of them but I I was around I passed. I had never done a big interview before I had never I don't think I'd ever done a TV interview before certainly, and so I got picked up in a limousine. I'm taken to Arthur Ashe's apartment. That's we we're gonNA shoot this interview. And I'm nervous concert about talking Howard. Cosell and about this big. You know about this big interview I I was in over my head and I'm sure I was utterly incoherent took the interview but I walked into Arthur Ashe's apartment. Now you gotTa Know I. idolized Arthur ash I thought he was the coolest guy. In Tennis I. Mean, he was I loved his jazzy flashy game. It was bold but it had all this kind of cool intelligence to but he had sort of a casino mentality to you know he had this he just and he looks so different from every. I was eleven years old when he won in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, eight, the US Open. I. Couldn't believe how cool this guy was and at a time he's got an Afro and he's got he's wearing bracelets, Sunnis, wearing beads and. was like this. Amazing. Magnificent Tropical. Fish. At landed into tennis you know and now I'm in his apartment. and. There's no tennis stuff in his apartment I'm looking around and I. See all these all this great artwork which can tell us from around the world and there's An unbelievable record collection what looks like a tremendous sand collection, their books everywhere, and it was just really cool elegant apartment and stop being nervous about the interview. I couldn't believe I was in Arthur's apartment. And I'm looking around and I looked and he had a great view of the city and there's all look at his table that's where he is cornflakes. That's where I did my cornflakes. And I just looking around and again, there's no. Pretense that this is. A great tennis champions apartment, he was a citizen of the world. And I'm I just remember looking around I was twenty. On this day and I'm looking around thinking. You. Are Just a tennis ball with feet you have got the start upping your game. 'cause this man is. This man is everything. So that was the first time. I met Arthur Ashe's apartment and I didn't even get to meet Arthur that day but I was lucky I'm a new. Yorker. So I got to meet Arthur he also worked at HBO he covered Wimbledon for Hbo for a long while and we got to see each other at various functions so. I was lucky in those ways that I got to. I got to know this man you cling to every moment you had with a man like that. Don't you what was it like working with him this this guy did idolized his is a young is young tennis, but we didn't overlap I don't think maybe only the first year at Hbo we overlapped. And I thought he was again. He was against I keep using this word but it's true he was so measured. You know for a man that had. You know he had to fight the good fight and he had to weigh every word that he said I I couldn't believe his. Home and his forebearance. You want me to tell you the band-aid story. I think I shared with you my band aid story of Arthur. Yes please. Not everyone has an Arthur advantage. Exactly. Arthur was this is ed. Wimbledon. And he had cut his finger and it was bleeding fingers sometimes bleed profusely for no good reason it wasn't that. But Anyway, the production manager she ran off she was you know and she she ran to get a box of band AIDS and she's cracking them open and she's sort of nervously trying to stanch the blood and you know and Arthur calmly looks at the package and says to this lovely woman It says these are flesh colored. She's. Like. Mortified and scared and like Oh my God. That's not the color of your. You could tell all these things were rolling around in her head and then finally just started giggling. He was a great use a Gig of some note and he said that's fine. I'm that's fine. and. Tell you the story. On, the day of his of Arthur's funeral. Funeral was in New York and I was in Florida and I left on the morning of his funeral because I figured I'd get there in time but I had to stop to Atlanta and there was some kind of terrible weather. That kept me locked in there. And time is going on we're still. On. The. Ground. And then finally. Atlanta in York that got cancelled and I was bereft. And they they make that announcement. Goto the delta. Information and they will re book your flight but I knew I was going to Miss Arthur's funeral anyway. So I just sat there at the gate. Feeling sorry for myself being angry at myself for having. Waited too long. To make his funeral. And a young guy in great looking suit came over to many said you're going to New York and I said, yes, he said, were you going to Arthur's funeral? And? I said yes. And he said I'm Arthur's nephew. And he sat down beside me I think he could tell I was I was upset. And he sat down beside me and we swapped Arthur stories parole while. And how it is Catherine when. You are meeting somebody who's a relative somebody you know and you look to them. As he looked like I'm. Like. Does, he have, and that's any hint. He and this guy did this young man did and I I just remember leaving that Gates Smile and thinking about you know what Arthur will never be. He'll never be all the way on if people like that. Are. Too. Many moving stuff in A. A lovely night to Wendell nine one one that's kind of never felt more pertinent because has his legacy ever felt more presence in sport than than in the last few days and we will come onto to talk about that and bring. Bring the all story, full circle but just to. To to reflect to bid on the the later years of his life that story Mary told about the funeral that was that was back in in nineteen ninety-three he died at the age of forty nine his health had I become a problem for him in. July of one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, nine when he was still a professional player he was he was only thirty six years old he was still ranked number seven in the world that time and he. Asks if no way, he suffered a heart attack what was to be a the? The first of his heart attacks and of course his. His career then came to an abrupt end. He had to have bypass surgery later that year. And then had to have another similar operation in nineteen eighty, three, five years later in September nine, hundred, Ninety, eight, he he lost he lost functionless May to function in his right hand. Not led to him requiring brain surgery during the course of which they they discovered three blood testing that that he had. Hey, at the ad aids. And they they seem that he contracted the disease from one of his from a blood transfusion during one of his open heart operations they suspect. The second one, say that was in nineteen, Ninety, eight that he Received that diagnosis. And it wasn't until Nineteen ninety-two that the the world found out about it he did make the decision to disclose his his his condition publicly Unfortunately, it was after being told that USA Today intended to publish an article about his his illness and could he confirm it but? After he made. That public admission in in on April the eight, thousand, nine, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, two. He spent the rest of his days campaigning for for public awareness, including making a speech on the floor of the United Nations on on World AIDS Day on repulsed away just the following year. At the age of forty, nine and. I'm I made reference to earlier that that story of one of would have been his final arrest From which I'm determined to take inspiration. For the rest of my my life, I'm it was towards the end of one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety and author two parts in a protest march outside the white. House on the issue of if mistreated mistreatment of Haitian refugees, it was it was a growing topic of. Debate and concern in in in American discourse at the time he was arrested for taking part in March, and he was the lone representative of the sports world to DC to actually. Practice what they preached despite many of these speaking out on on that issue and other social justice issues. He was the only athlete there in that March despite the fact that by this time his he was in very ill health. He fully conscience even though it meant putting his health in his life at risk. His doctors were worried that that he physically wouldn't be able to cope with with marching that day. He'd lost twenty percent of his body weight over the course of the. The previous year, and as it happened of the Ashdod suffered a mild heart attack off to. The day after his arrest. And he lived for Fraley another five months after that. He. Heard from for Mary and through the the the reading and description, you've you've given us their catherine distance just sums up his character to me both from. The humor that Mary references and the Giga that she found him to be in the interview I heard from him this morning it always strikes me in every word he utters that he's A little bit ahead of where you are. He's he's a either concocting his own little slant of humor on what you've just said that will amuse him and and aures. He's got an understanding of issue, an attack on it, but he's not GonNa just throw it down your throat. He's GonNa eat Kinda, just gently move you in the direction. He wants things to go in. He knows that they should go in any. Any takes all it seems to me in his stride and even this soulful luck bad luck that he had with ill Hilson, he had heart disease that ran throughout his family. And in the interview earlier this morning, he said I I know that. I'm probably not going to live a long life in all honesty said, he said I actually went to a palm reader who says that my life my I will live long life, but I think I will be honest. I've had these heart attacks and Given my family history of I probably won't I. Hope I do. But probably won't Palmer in being wrong shocking knees and this was in in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, four that this interview took place. And at the time, he didn't know that he had been infected with HIV and. and. All the way through it seems the the diagnosis and the treatment and or at least the experience of living with this disease. He was he seemed to be accepting of it and he would just he just dealt with whatever hand he had at any given time. And kept on moving forwards and even as you say, there would. With his health really failing him. He just carried on doing what he believed was the right thing to do. And he he famously said. The. The instinct when when something bad befalls you is to say why me? And he would always say. Not Me and he's and. By the same token he would say will if you're going to ask why me when something bad happens g surely when something good happens to, you should say why me? I love this sort of pithy logic to that. Yet, and it goes back to what James Blake was saying right at the start of the podcast that his. At his lowest ebb he embraced. Kind of new responsibilities and took on the battle because there was there was so much fear and hysteria and misinformation about AIDS that time and it was seen as. It was seen as the gay curse and it was seen as something that you know he had to reassure people that he wasn't going to infect them just because they were in the same room as Heyman and he he took on that responsibility and. That that really is quite extraordinary There was this big. This big debate at the time about you know whether the USDA publishing was. Kind of an invasion of privacy masquerading as the public's right to know whether it was Gossett pretending to be investigative journalism and but even that he kind of took ownership of that situation and and used used his platform there too good as heard establishing the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the defeat of AIDS. And and it just strikes me that. So many tennis players are not set up for what to do off the tennis and our thrash. Absolutely, was he transcended the sport and he had so much to offer the world where was a better place because Arthur Ashe was in it and it's so it's so cruel that his life was was cut so short and yet at the same time, it was still such such a full life as well. And I. Hope that he was aware that he had created legacy that would would live on i. know he was a very humble man and probably wouldn't have spoken in those terms. But I. I hope that he he was fully aware of the legacy that he had created I mean I. Think we've all thought over the course of the last week wondered. What he would think of. What we're saying now in tennis with Namias Arkan and coca golf and oversee Naomi soccer's very much. Risen to the four over the last few days on that front we'll talk about that in just a moment but. First I want to hear from one of the one of the players he he did fully kind of more immediately in in his footsteps because he did. Act as a beacon for future generations of of plays, just to to read a quote from from Zina, garrison on on unauthorized thrashing the way he paved the way for her she said he was he's always been someone for black players to look up T. Someone he said you can do it. It doesn't matter where you come from or how we look she said office showed what is possible to be accomplished and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps and nobody can forget that he made those footsteps. I really appreciate the time that he made his breakthrough and it was harder than for minority to break in especially in all sports, but he did it to the hilt. Letsie now from from Chanda Rubin somebody else that was was able to follow in his footsteps and and what she thinks about Arthur's legacy. To me, his legacy is one of inclusiveness. His legacy is is one of fighting but fighting with dignity. And strength that did not demean the next person you know fighting and being unmovable about what he knew was right about what he envisioned for the sport, which is what is one of the things that makes this work. So special today, you know the fact that it includes everyone and and that the premise is that includes everyone anyone who is. Able and wants to play who? Does the work to get to a certain level you? You can play an you're on equal brown equal footing with the next person and it's it's what he strove to make this actually looked like in reflect that I think still reverberates today it is still that the ideal. Of Sport and it's why he is such still such a powerful figure. Your end will be a powerful figure in this. He. Strove to do it when it wasn't popular you know when the fight was. Not. Knowing. Who you were fighting for in the future but knowing that next that next black kid that next. Player was going to have an opportunity that maybe he didn't have and. That's incredibly that's incredibly special that that's incredibly empowering for these next generations and so he is he is. One of the most powerful figures in in this sport. How important is it that that main? Stadium? At the US Open is named after him that the inevitably because of that, his name is mentioned all the time and kept present and kept in the full front of the minds of everyone that works in Tennis Watch. While I think it's it's fitting it. There's very little. That's s fitting as that And you know we we can get to a point where we Hear names, historical figures, and. We understand a little bit about what they did but maybe not so much and it becomes the message becomes a little bit. Fades a little bit and you just get used. So ash stadium not really thinking about. What that meant and would it continues to me, and so I think every. So often you know people have to be reminded of that even though the stadium is named for him, people have to be reminded of why and and not allow to just let the message kind of fade because that's what we're still fighting for today we're we're still fighting to create equal opportunities across the board and at the time he was fighting it was more based on it was more based on you know black players being given opportunities to play. It was at that point a white only sport. But now it it has. Additional meaning in terms of equality across the board white black no matter your race or color but also matter your gender and I think tennis is it continues to be have opportunities to be a leader in that in that space, and so that's what that the name of Ash Stadium Bats with that continues to signify, and hopefully we don't ever lose sight of that and future generations can continue to understand the importance of it even as we get further away from from his lifetime. And today in the shadow if if both the author stadium and the the, statue of ash out the Billie Jean King National Tennyson to. Today's we record namie soccer will we'll take to court in the western and southern open for her semifinal match against at least mertens much that. was supposed to be scheduled to take place yesterday much which may soccer originally withdrew from in protest at well, a couple of Racially, aggravated incidents that have taken place in America, the police shooting in Wisconsin of a black man and the subsequent murder by a right-wing terrorist two black protesters in Wisconsin. Protesters of that police shooting. and we I had the NBA in the WNBA. Going on strike. In protest at those events and Nary may soccer then fully suit announced her withdrawal rule from that semifinal in protest she she released an incredibly strong statement on her social media saying she didn't expect her. Her decision to change the world pitch she thought it. Was the best thing she could do to try and try and start a conversation And that is so so. Echoing the. The actions of authorized isn't it I mean his his legacy ever? Certainly in our lifetimes felt more pertinent. Yeah. I think he'd be a mentally proud the fact that she just she did that off their own back without. Any encouragement. It seems that's what she thought was the right thing to do. He wanted to start that conversation in a white sports. Traditionally and and a predominantly and be able to get people talking and within two hours the entire sport had posed because it decided to send alongside me and and not have any place today. And Yeah that's meant that the compensation has been ongoing and I mean, it's it's in the scheme of things a small step, but it is significant because it's never happened before to my knowledge. Barrack Obama once said talking about Al, thrash that it doesn't really matter how you do it. What matters is your commitment to doing it and as you said a sock, it didn't really know what the result of this action was going to be but she was committed to doing it because she felt it was the right thing to do and that right there is authorized. Legacy. So it's full credit to soak because I think a point worth making is the. You know as you said, the NBA Wmba. Baseball teams as well those are. kind of set the wheels in motion for this those are. Incredibly, powerful justice but they're all team sports where. People in in the team Kinda give each other support rally ran while another this was. This was this was an individual move by ASARCO, and she didn't know what the response was going to be how it was going to be received and it's been really. Really encouraging that both the leaders tennis stepped up I'm recognized the moment and also I think a lot of fellow players as well on certainly on social media have have given their support as well and the and that stuff matters as well. That's how you turn it from a moment into a movement I think. Start where you are us what you have D- what you can. One if the four hundred, thousand inspirational in profound quotes from Arthur ash. On a t shirt as soon as we. Just cut straight having it tattoo on your forehead man. And and look at. It clearly is getting easier for athletes easier than it was for thrash, and we've we've heard this podcast about how it was easier easier for thrash than it was frothy. Gibson, it is. Getting easier for athletes and people with a profile to use platform to speak about political and social issues, which which mattered to them to try and instigate change. But that doesn't mean it's easy. It's a very low low starting point it was what? Two years ago that calling Kaepernick lost his job lost his job for taking the knee in the NFL and is still out of a job thought still remains the case so. Yes things evolving and changing and the landscape might be shifting but. But as we're going to hear from one last time for Mary Carillo and first Lizzie. Allen, there are still difficulties that athletes face when using their platform. Let's look at all athletes. and. Just by how our society is we give them so much reference. And it would be important for them to step up and use their platform. And I didn't see a lot of that. You, know you had a Colin Kaepernick. And I use the phrase in one of my articles that you know people risk being capping it. Out. But now people are like you know what? We, we have a voice. Let's band together. You look at the NBA The WNBA. Like you say cocoa and Asaka. and. The soccer team just you have power together and you do have power and a lot of times the people that you were trying to speak out against they want you to know you have the power. Or Your Veil threats. If you speak out girl, you're not GonNa let nobody else has got to be able to get in here to do that. So I think Arthur. Would be proud of those that have stepped up in a big way and use their voice. But there's always risk involved, but it's nice to be in a position that the athletes are willing to take the risk because they have the power and they can they can. Overcome this. Black lives matter is happening all around us in this country that's on fire right now. Not terribly proud of the united. States for any number of reasons lately but. There's a there's a slogan I don't know if if it hit your shores. The slogan goes they tried to bury us but didn't we were seeds. I think Arthur would look upon these athletes whether it's what? The late. Kobe Bryant what Lebron James is willing to do what calling captured is willing to. Is Willing to do. What these young tennis players have color. Are Stepping up to do I. Think he would be very happy to see that and interestingly Catherine. Billy. Has It in her head that? Athletes and especially, athletes have color these days now. Like. Mohammed Ali obviously he was excoriated for speaking out. For his beliefs you know whether whether it be about his religion or Vietnam or whatever and a lot of athletes have color obviously, Colin Kaepernick football player lost his job because he knelt during the national anthem still is at work hidden in the football. Billie Jean has it in her head that now especially, athletes of color will be rewarded for speaking out. It will become a part of their brand to speak out they will use their platforms they will sound out against. Inequality or gender inequality race whatever it is billie. Jean. Thinks now that the tide has really turned and that. You don't have to be afraid to speak your mind any longer you don't have to. You know an Arthur Ashe played. Tennis when the Gibson played tennis not only did they have to be very quiet and not argue calls and they couldn't even hit close to the lines. For fear that they were gonNA. Get hooked by lines people. You know that that they you know I mean that's how bad it was you had to be. So. Contained and now Billie Jean feels that it swung the other way and this is a time for you to understand your voice and use it. And be rewarded for it. Which is In a massive shift isn't it because depressingly that has The economic disincentives to to be outspoken have been enormous over the years is the it's the whole Republicans buy sneakers to thing, which is been sad but true of the if if sponsors. Endorse and are in favor of their people. Speaking out and standing for things that's I mean maybe it's depressing that it takes that but that's a huge shift huge. It's key say. Tectonic Plates have shifted that much. We've already seen their companies like Gatorade Nike at least in my country where that is the brand you know you wanna be a rebel you want to be you know you want to stand out in those ways you wanna use, your voice. Yes I think that is a huge shift and. It will. I think it would will really change everything. I mean when when people say when the people get aggravated that athletes speak their mind about politics. You know a lot of people say keep politics sports. Yeah. Well, good luck with that could look good luck trying to put toothpaste back in the in the to. Just not going to happen. I've used the expression good luck putting that toothpaste back at you twice over the last four days. was directed at me. Such a great expression. She's she clearly is changing I know it would have pained. Mary to use the word brand. and. It is kind of a story reflection if things that. That athletes also. Driven and that that economics. Sort of brutal capitalist economic should be such a factor in things that feel as if they should be separate to that. But if it does become. Economically viable for sponsors to encourage this kind of thing. Thank it's kind of an ends justify the means Khanna kind of thing isn't it? I think it's a big big movements in the right direction I I. Remember. Couple of years ago, talking to somebody who looks after to Andy, Murray's business affairs and when he was. Occasionally speaking out on subjects of importance whether on behalf of women, tennis Blazel old things that he just didn't think what right and and yeah some some of the core brands were scurrying I remember even he even spoke out against head who who is is own racket supply because they were supporting Maria Sharapova at the time of. Positive diaper test and the agent said, well, the way we view it is there's an authencity to him and that is in itself attractive it it should be and this is obviously a huge step on from that of way more important both for. Athletes have color and female athletes and particularly female athletes of color of color and an absolutely right? Absolutely. Right. It's about time the the world court up that when somebody. Takes a stand for the right reasons and does something truly good that they are not punished because it might upset a few people. It still takes the Individual Agency to do it though doesn't it? Because the soccer was saying in a pre tournament press conference that? People have told her that she's not supposed to talk about politics in the in the same week that she then withdrew to protest against racial injustice. So it still takes that individual agency and Therefore. I think we you know which is why soccer is worthy of so much praise for this and. Yeah, I mean that that line about. Keeping, score out of politics riles me every every single time. I would hear someone say that because Yes sports entertainment but. If you if you ask athletes to ignore politics with knowing that humanity and of course, athletes are going to be affected by political and social issues, and if we're moving in a direction where they're now. The now going to be rewarded has been drinking says four speaking out against that that that I think is. Is An incredibly positive sign. Yeah sport is in politics fakes pretending that isn't the case I didn't think does does anyone any favors? So that is Arthur ash is. Easy. He's enduring impact on sport today. and. I'll be. It feels it feels sort of really sad that we're not recording this underneath his statue at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center doesn't it? You know with with his stadium looming over? US But. We sent him. We'll be back there one day and I'm pleased that. Back There I. Will. have if I am watching much like Collard against Dennis shop of Circuit twenty-seven. I will be able to turn my attention to thoughts of Arthur, Ashe, and have lots of them to get me three whatever boring tennis match. Subjecting myself. T. I definitely filled that the next time I'm there I will walk around with a difference. Set of is and is just thinking about the stories in the the version of events that we've heard from all of our all of that contributes is over the last few days out there Gibson and Froth I I really. Feel like this is been a massive moments. In my life freely just learning about these people and and. Actually hearing authorized to speak and reading the things. He said, just his outlook on life his approach to things if you can't learn from that summit wrong with you because that should be some spots. Start where you will use what you have. What you can and get arrested as much as possible. I'd like to thank Mary Carillo for those words of wisdom and many of his. And all of our contributors to this podcast the Gibson podcast James Blake. Lizzie Allen Steve flink Richard Evans John McEnroe. He doesn't know he's contributed to this podcast. You did John thanks very much for it. And Chanda Rubin as well. You've made this podcast you contributions your recollections have have been the absolute essence of this one into and the one about healthy Gibson and Thank you ever so much to all of you for forgiving your time and energy to what's been. What's been a very emotional journey for a soul and Yeah. That's very important. Tennis relived isn't it and now now we have to turn our attention back to the present. Are we going to remember to live? To. Do on a daily basis we start. Yes vote. Remind ourselves daily. Well, first of all, we have what we have. We have a Cincinnati rap podcast and the US Open draw review that will be coming to you on Sunday would have been Saturday but because of the halting of play and Namus is brave and bold actions, it will now be Sunday. And then from Monday, we will have daily use open podcast for fourteen days of the USA and Ma and his Caravan David insulted me in a call between Putney and hounslow. It's all glamour folks and we can't wait we'll. Speak to sing.

Coming up next