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THE LOW DOWN: Venus + Serena talk politics at Bangalore Open

Speaking up: Andy Roddick isn't the only tennis baller feeling all political these days. The 'Sisters Sledge' - Venus + Serena Williams - threw their racquets in the ring and spoke out on the emergence of minorities, more specifically African-Americans, in tennis and in the US at this week's Bangalore Open where they're playing singles and teaming up for doubles.

Eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena said, "Each year when I go on tour and at the US Open I see another black face. It just makes my heart smile." However, she emphasized the limited access to the sport for some saying, "Maybe sometime if you want to talk economics, then maybe it (tennis) might not be affordable for some black people. Traditionally you look at tennis, you see in the past, 50 years, maybe one black player there. Tennis is an expensive sport."

Older sister Venus, who is widely recognized as a catalyst for getting women equal prize money at Wimbledon, commented on the current U.S. presidential race saying, "It is good that minorities are coming to the fore, (Barack) Obama is an example." But she was quick to point out she's "equally happy" for Hillary Clinton though "it is tough for Afro-Americans in US."

Good for them. If only more athletes were as brave, worldly, and aware...

(via downthelinetennis.com)

(image via AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

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Comment by William on February 25, 2009 at 1:57am
The Williams sisters are VERY talented tennis players, there are few in women's tennis that can match their level of play and I am happy to see that sports stars are becoming more and more aware of politics. However, I must say it is rather disappointing that it is always about Barack Obama being a BLACK president. His race should be secondary and his policies should be primary. We should ALWAYS be so proud to live in a country where a change of power is done peacefully, consistently. I'd like to think that the more and more people refer to Obama as a BLACK president, instead of a CHARISMATIC/ELOQUENT/INFLUENTIAL/YOUTHFUL president, there is more hate-- black vs. white vs. brown vs. yellow etc-- perpetuated. We are all people first and the sooner we realize this and quit putting race before our species the better off we will be.

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