Leslie Allen, the 63-year-old is the first Black woman to win a WTA title after Althea Gibson. In a podcast with tennis.com, she shared her views on Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign. Additionally, she also brought into light the changes in the tennis world since her time of play. Further, she also shared the challenges she had to face and much more.
Allen said, “Every experience I had in tennis was not horrible.” However, she also added, “But that was just one of the additional things you carry along, that negativity. That is the exhausting part of being Black.”
Talking of the freedom of the tennis players nowadays to express their views, she said, “I think it is fabulous. It makes me proud.” Besides, Allen is also very excited to see youngsters like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka coming forward to openly share their views. Additionally, both the tennis stars raised their voice very frequently during the Black Lives Matter protest in the US.
“It Was All New In My Generation”- Leslie Allen
Allen shared that the conditions in her time were very different from now. She added, “It was all new in my generation. A Black woman on the tour, I better be on my best behavior because I don’t want to mess it up for the next generation.”
In addition to this, the former tennis player also said, “For her (Coco) to have the freedom and to take advantage of that platform, it is fabulous. Because they are saying, ‘We’re tired’.”
Besides Coco, Naomi Osaka, another tennis youngster, uses Twitter to voice her opinion on different issues. However, Allen just hopes that all these efforts continue to make an impact.
Former World Number seventeen also added, “When you are a tennis player you are independent. So it is good that they are doing that.” Additionally, she also said, “I think they are less concerned about their brand because it is topical. So, let us see what happens in six or nine months.”