Taylor Townsend: Too Big for Tennis? – Entertainment & Culture – EBONY

Taylor Townsend: Too Big for Tennis?

David Leonard

Dear Patrick McEnroe:

I write you to express my anger and disgust as to how you and the UTSA have treated Taylor Townsend. Despite being the world’s #1 junior girl’s tennis player, and the future of American tennis, you decided to shut her out, to take away her financial support, and otherwise block her from entering tournaments. You asked her “to stop competing?” And why? Because you think she is too fat; because you think she needs to get into better shape and slim down.

Who died and made you Jillian Michaels?

I am glad to see you decided to pay for Taylor’s travel costs from Chicago to New York. Better late than never. How about you now apologize for publicly ridiculing and shaming a 16-year old girl? How about you fly to Chicago to express your regret for not only punishing Taylor Townsend, but also embarrassing her in front of the world. In what world do you live that you would think this strategy would be to her benefit? There is no valid explanation for a bunch of middle-age males telling her what to eat, when to exercise, what to dress, and how to look. I hope you realize how much you hurt her. Let her words sink into your skinny head: “It was definitely shocking. I was actually very upset. I cried. I was actually devastated. I mean, I worked really hard, you know, it’s not by a miracle that I got to number one.”

I hope you understand that you follow in a long tradition of sexist institutions that have told women and girls, particularly those of color, that they are inadequate and ugly; that they are undesirable, and so disgusting that they should not even be in public. This was the message you sent to Taylor and millions of other girls. If you can’t get this idea through your thick privileged skull, head over to Sports Illustrated to read the words of Courtney Nguyen.

The implications of your statements and actions are disturbing on so many levels, especially given the epidemic of eating disorders and body image struggles inside and outside of sports. Training session in the library?

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