By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter

The last two weekends the last major in tennis was played in New York City with many of the stars of the game taking a pass due to the Covid-19 scare. Men’s defending champion Rafael Nadal and Women’s defending champion Simona Helep.

The long list included Stan Wawrinka, Ashleigh Barty, and Roger Federer (knee injury) also did not appear in the Big Apple. Leaving the door wide open for number one Novak Djokovic and number eight Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open. Neither one would finish this tournament.

African American athletes are upset. Black athletes are sick and tired of the double standard when it comes to representations of Black Athletes at sporting events. They question why Serena Williams was treated differently then Novak Djokovic?

This became very clear again last week with the media’s attitude towards Djokovic ejection compared to the attitude taken toward Serena Williams fine years earlier when she was escorted out of the U.S. Open by Champion Naomi Osaka.

Three years ago Serena Williams played newbie Naomi Osaka for the U.S. Open Title in what would have been her 24th Major victory tying Margaret Court.

The umpire warned Williams and her coaching team about sending signals to each other in which Ms. Williams took offense and confronted the umpire.

How dare you challenge my authority, how dare you scream at me, how dare you… Now you must pay and she has paid dearly the past two years.

The cheating allegations were never proven and the tennis world changed the rules so coaches now can communicate with their players during matches. HHMMMMM!!!! Ms. Williams was welcomed back to the tennis community ONLY after the birth of her first child.

The American media still would not let it go; the American media could not get enough, day after day, week after week, year after year discussing Serena’s outburst. It’s been years and they cannot forgive the 38 year old.

When they speak of the incident their veins pop out of their heads. These same individuals excuse white temper but not Black, and they should be asked WHY?

Now compare that to Mr. Djokovic playing in New York this year in the second round-first set. Novak was not having a great day and in the first set he missed a ball that should have been an easy return.

Novak grab a new ball and smacked it to the side wall, hard. No warning from the umpire, no boos from the crowd. This was a sign of things to come.

Djokovic could not control the opening set against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and in frustration again smacked a ball to the back of the court hitting a line judge in the neck.   

Novak Djokovic receives a pass from the media for this mindless act. Let’s put this event past us— really? The next week the story disappears. The Western media did not go after this man the way they went after Ms. Williams.

Even in the Australian print media had a cartoon about Serena and her spat with the umpire. The Western reporters kept making fun of her muscular body. Trust me you will not see that about Mr. Djokovic.

Ms. Williams did not hurt anybody but herself by her actions. Many in the press corps stated it made tennis look bad. Really so I guess John McEnroe does not count.

Mr. Novak sends a line judge to the medical center and few batted an eye. The Western media response was “oh poor Novak.” He was undefeated for 2020 at 26-0.

Here is the difference the referee and the supervisor were considering letting the match continue but the USTA United States Tennis Association has a rule that states, “Intentionally striking a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences shall result in default.”

The rule was there and the USTA officials were trying to find a way around it for ten minutes. The officials were quick to fine Serena Williams 12 hours after the fact and very slow to fine Mr. Djokovic three days. Again, the double standard loud and clear.


These young men and women are just asking the media to treat people the same way and America just can’t do it, they just can’t do it. The U.S. Open is just another example.

Super brat John McEnroe states that Novak’s reputation may never recover. He should know because of his historical temper tantrums on the court in the late 1970-early 1980s. McEnroe did fine, networks made commercials of John’s antics.

Another tennis player Nasty Boy, Illie Nastase, The Romanian Flame Thrower was also loved by the media. “Oh what fire these young men have.” Americans laughed at the antics of head basketball coach Bobby Knight.

They laughed at head football coach Woody Hayes, and Sebastian Vettel race car driver in Formula One. Let an African American male do any of these antics and his Black behind would be in jail.

Novak Djokovic will find out his fate at the end of the month at the French Open. It is my perception that the media will not put Novak’s feet to the fire because he is one of their own unlike how that same media torched Serena Williams years ago, lighting the flame over and over again.

America is still afraid of Black anger.

 Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor News Radio Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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