This post is in response to this article that I came across on Yahoo earlier today where a young ATP player chose to direct his anger towards the USTA via Twitter versus a more appropriate channel. The long and short of it is, Mr. Young was hoping that the USTA would grant the young hopeful a wild card to the French Open based on recent success in a challenger event, even though he would have an opportunity to compete for one via a wild card playoff against other American hopefuls. He played the wildcard tourney and lost, hence no wildcard for him.
Since this outburst, many of weighed in on this, including Patrick McEnroe who called for an apology to the USTA for the outburst on Twitter. I agree with Patrick and the points made by Chris Chase (finally) and I’ll add the following:
- With power comes responsibility – American tennis is in need of a new hero and while you’re still getting your game together, you cannot resort to that kind of outburst via social media. You’ll hurt your brand and opportunity to leave an impact on the game like many African Americans before you (Venus and Serena, Althea, James Blake, Arthur Ashe, Malivai, Zina)
- Don’t slap the hand that feeds you. I’ve met many USTA members who have had glowing reviews about the community, it’s programs and the support for its members. We both know they have stood behind you. Be a man and apologize.
- Take the opportunity to step up and leave your mark on American tennis. The men’s tradition of American dominance is in decline. There’s no shortage of talent in the US among the current active players and Andy Roddick has done well to carry on the tradition, picking it up where Chang, Agassi and Sampras left off. Put this incident behind you and focus on your game. There’s room for you at the top if you really want to be there.