Sunday, April 23, 2017

- Never Apologize

Some of you out there 'of a certain age', will remember the glory days of Tennis is the late 70's and 80's. I'm not much of a sports fan, but my brother was, and he was very skilled in that particular game. And since he is only 11 months younger than me, Tennis knowledge (if not skill) became something I could pick up around the house through osmosis.

So while browsing through the DailyMail this morning, I discovered the name of Ilie Nastase being mentioned. The Romanian was a major top tier star of the sport at its popular peak, akin to Jimmy Connors or the much younger (but probably more familiar) Andre Agassi. He was loud, passionate, argumentative and outspoken. He was the cold war 'bad boy' to Jimmy Connors' captain America act. But very much a champion in his own right, and very much respected for his talent, if not his demeanor.

Personally I always liked him. I had a pretty serious rebellious streak going at the time, and since the cold war was starting to cool down just a little, I was all in favor of seeing past the continuous anti-commie programming we got back then for any talented individual outside of politics. In my mind, government was something that did things to people, not for them. And I saw no reason to dislike a talented sports star just because he was having things done to him by a different kind of government than the one that was doing things to me.

Well the man is back in the news, and proving that when it comes to a man's character, some things never change. He made some off color (grin) joke about Serena Williams' expectant child, and got tossed from a match as punishment. Good for him I say. He has never been big on apologies for an offended public, and apparently isn't going to start now.

I still like the guy. And it doesn't matter at all to me that instead of the government that's trying to do things 'to' people, it's now the continuously offended mob of the Twitterverse of Tennis fandom that seeks to punish people who dare to speak things we all know, but have been trained not to notice.

Screw them and their prudishness, I say. The man is a legend who contributed greatly to the building of the sport. They all owe him their jobs, whether they are inclined to admit it or not. Wha they should really be doing is thanking him for doing what he's always done, demanding excellence in the payers, and drawing attention to the sport with his antics. Instead of tossing him, they should simply say thank you, and get on with their game.

No comments: