Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: 2017 US Open Tennis Championships Series

Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: Rattler Kamau Murray latest to join list of Grand Slam coaches with HBCU roots

For more than a decade, Kamau Murray has committed himself to using the sport of tennis to empower, educate and inspire young people of Chicago.

On Sunday, Murray joined a list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) alum — including Dr. Robert Walter “Whirlwind” Johnson and John Wilkerson — that have gone on to become professional tennis coaches, guiding their African-American players to gain Grand Slam champion, and Olympian, status.

Read the entire article here.


Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: THE RANGE | A Diverse & Inclusive American Tennis Landscape

THE RANGE | a series of things in a line | an aggregate of individuals in one order | a direction line | a place that may be ranged over | the region throughout which a community naturally lives or occurs | scope | set of values a function takes on

“Today’s generation of kids is the least active in history,” Caitlin Morris, Nike’s Community Impact general manager said in a statement released last week during the Aspen Institute’s convening of sport and society leaders at the 2017 Project Play Summit.

“No one can solve this problem alone.”

Increasing the number of youth who get and stay active will save tens of billions of dollars in direct medical costs and economic productivity losses alone, according to an analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Research shows that engaging children in sport and physical activity unleashes a virtuous cycle that bears myriad rewards for individuals, families, and society.

Read the entire article here.


Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: HOME ON THE RANGE | 2017 US Open Tennis Championships inspires the Next Generation

The United States hosted the fourth Grand Slam on the global tennis community’s calendar, finishing with four Americans — Venus Williams, Colleen “CoCo” Vandeweghe, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens — fighting on their home turf for the opportunity to earn the title of 2017 US Open Women’s Singles Champion.

Like the Lone Ranger, who was the only survivor of a group of six Texas Rangers, Stephens — the “Sloane Ranger“ — emerged the victor of this year’s US Open Tennis Championships.

With the historical implications of her win (seen and unseen) and showing in what was a historical sporting spectacle, the Florida native with the support of her team including mother, Sybil Smith, and coach Kamau Murray, has increased her “range” and is poised to lead the troops operating on American tennis’ terrain.

Read the entire article here.


The 2017 US Open Tennis Championships has crowned its 2017 Women’s Singles champion, Sloane Stephens, who walked away with the win over her good friend, Madison Keys. Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal will take on South Africa’s Kevin Anderson for the men’s crown.

Celebrating the 20th year of hosting the finals in the wondrous Arthur Ashe Stadium, the legacy and spirit of Ashe is not only commemorated by the monument, but also embodied and exalted by many of today’s American tennis leaders and custodians of the sport, specifically African-American men.

In the spirit of acknowledging Diversity and Inclusion in American tennis, the following is the second installment of Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: African-American men leading America’s tennis industry.

Read the entire article here.


Made In America: JAY-Z’s blueprint to ‘Roc’ the global business, culture of tennis

Busy curating the Budweiser Made In America Festival, preparing for his highly anticipated performance at the two-day music extravaganza in Philadelphia — featuring the Cause Village, a showcase of non-profit organizations led by the Shawn Carter Foundation to benefit the United Way and ACLU — JAY-Z had business at the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships to be concerned with.

JAY-Z’s signing of a 10-year Live Nation deal worth $200 million earlier this year helped the savvy impresario secure #2 on the Forbes Five: The Richest In Hip-Hop Of 2017. The Brooklyn native’s co-ownership of Roc Nation, a joint venture with Live Nation, has helped the Hip-Hop icon get closer to being a billionaire.

“Live Nation and I entered unchartered territory in 2008,” JAY-Z said in a statement in May.

Read the entire article here.



Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: American women of African ancestry make history at US Open and beyond

For the first time in more than a decade, all four of the 2017 US Open Women’s Singles Championship semifinalists — Venus Williams, Sloan Stephens, Madison Keyes and Colleen “CoCo“ Vandeweghe — are American. Three of the four remaining women in professional tennis’ most lucrative tournament are Americans of African descent.

History has been made. Read the entire article here.


Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: “Pancho” the Pioneer for Mexican-American tennis

A year ago yesterday — as the 2016 edition of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships were coming to a close, preeminent historian, journalist and tennis enthusiast, Steve Flink, penned a piece on tennis pioneer and hall of famer, Richard Ricardo Alonzo Gonzalez.

Nicknamed “Pancho,” the native of south central Los Angeles and the eldest of seven children born to Mexican immigrants (Manuel and Carmen) was introduced to tennis at age 12. Like many first generation, youth tennis players living in urban centers without formal training, Gonzalez’s athletic talent and burgeoning love of the sport quickly led to achievement. At 14 years old, Gonzalez became Southern California’s #1 ranked player in the 15 & Under’ Boys Division, winning 4 of 5 major boys titles.

Despite purposely being barred from tennis by the Southern California Tennis Association, while being labeled and chastised as a “zoot-suiter” and a “pachuco,” at 20 years old Gonzalez went on to win the 1948 and 1949 U.S. National Championships (U.S. Open) at Forest Hills after enlisting in the U.S. Navy at 17.

Read the entire article here.

Pancho Gonzales, Gordon Parks and Arthur Ashes

Diversity & Inclusion in Sports: African-American men leading America’s tennis industry

The U.S. Open Tennis Championships will soon crown its 2017 champions in the wondrous Arthur Ashe Stadium. The legacy and spirit of Ashe is not only commemorated by being the stadium’s namesake, but also embodied and exalted by many of today’s American tennis leaders and custodians of the sport, specifically African-American men.

According to the latest figures recently released by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which were part of the Physical Activity Council Annual Participation Study, African-Americans playing tennis has declined by 1.7% to 1.9 million.

The total number of tennis players was 17.96 million, which increased 0.3%, according to the PAC study. “Core” tennis players—those who play 10 or more times a year—increased .5% to 9.96 million. There were 2.07 million new tennis players, which is a 3.8% increase according to the study.

Read the entire article here.


DISC holds annual symposium during the US Open

In 2012, the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium (DISC) was established as a partnership among diversity and inclusion practitioners from the largest sports organizations in the United States.

With the theme of “Dispelling the Myths: Diversity in Sports is a Winning Business Strategy,” last week the United States Tennis Association (USTA) hosted members of DISC, focused on highlighting the 45th anniversary of the Title IX Statute of the Education Amendment of 1972.

“On behalf of the USTA’s Diversity and Inclusion department, I want to welcome all of this year’s symposium attendees, D&I leaders and panel participants to the US Open,” said D.A. Abrams, chief diversity and inclusion officer, USTA.

Read the entire article here.