We Wish to Talk: Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Townsend on racial inequality in tennis
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the United States Open is still slated to be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York later this summer. Then again, not each and every event is going to be included in the yearly Grand Slam tournament.
While the United States Open determined to move forward with singles and doubles tournaments on the men’s and women’s sides, there is probably not a wheelchair tennis tournament. Top quads men’s wheelchair tennis player Dylan Alcott expressed his frustration with the decision on Thursday, calling it “disgusting discrimination.”
“Just got announced that the United States Open will go ahead WITHOUT wheelchair tennis,” Alcott wrote on Twitter. “Players weren’t consulted. I thought I did enough to qualify – 2x champion, number 1 on this planet. But unfortunately I missed the only object that mattered, with the ability to walk. Disgusting discrimination”
Alcott followed his initial tweet by noting that simply because he’s in a wheelchair does not intent he’s at an added risk of contracting COVID-19.
“And please do not tell me I am a ‘greater risk’ because I am disabled,” he wrote. “I am disabled yes but that doesn’t make me SICK. I am fitter and healthier than almost everybody reading this at this time. There are no added risks.
“And for certain there are far more important things going on on this planet, but that choice must’ve been up TO ME. It is blatant discrimination for ready bodied people to make a decision on my behalf what i do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough @usopen.”
US Open organizers did respond to the criticism that they faced for getting rid of the wheelchair tennis tournament, according to USA Today:
“When we look at the overall of qualifying, mixed, juniors, wheelchair championship, we had to make the actually difficult decision that that additional load of the number of bodies that is in the multiples was once outdoor something we felt we could take care of in the end to mitigate the risk and the health and well-being for all.”
Alcott has 170 career victories to his credit and won the 2015 and 2018 US Open. The Australia local also recently won the Australian Open for the fifth consecutive year in January.