The United States Tennis Association told Taylor Townsend, who is the #1 ranked junior tennis player in the country right now, that they didn’t want her competing in the US Open junior tournament because they wanted her to “focus on [her] fitness”, which is code for “you aren’t skinny enough to suit us and it offends us that you are daring to be healthy and strong but not slender because it violates the cultural trope that you cannot have adipose tissue and be an athlete unless maybe you have a penis and sometimes not even then”. They told her that they wouldn’t pay for her to expenses if she came anyway, that is how much they wanted to shame her into hiding her body away until it fit the cultural mandate of skinniness.
I am going to have to go to a special shenanigans farm and grow yet more shenanigans, that is how much shenanigans I want to call on this.
In the first place, she isn’t even fat. She is just not twiggy slender. Yes, very skinny tennis players can be great athletes, but so can larger ones or women who have no body fat and the muscles of an Amazon warrior like the Williams sisters. The way she is playing should be the determination of her “fitness”. What the hell is better than being #1???
In the second place, the fact that the USTA is hassling a black athlete doesn’t look good, considering that they had a “disastrous relationship with black tennis prodigy Donald Young”. Really, USTA? You want to cut another black athlete off at the knees because they are a little too different? That isn’t going to make you look racist at all, dumbasses.
Since this bullshit came to light, USTA has been trying to cover its ass as hard as possible:
“Patrick McEnroe, the manager of the USTA player development program, was quoted in the WSJ report, saying that the “concern is her long-term health” and the goal is to have her “competing for major titles when it’s time.” Tennis.com reported that the USTA recommended Townsend stay home after she was diagnosed with low iron.”
Right. This the first time EVER someone has tried to cover up fat-hate and fat-shaming by concern trolling that their prejudiced behavior is only for the fat person’s (usually a female person) own good. You know, because fat is so bad for you that there is no possible way to be fat and healthy. Medical evidence to the contrary? Nah, let’s ignore that and focus on the cultural insistence that she CANNOT be “conditioned” or “fit” if she isn’t gazelle-thighed twee.
As for anemia … add some broccoli and liver to her menu and it would iron her right up. Moreover, a lot of teen girls are anemic. Have they tried to keep every player with low blood iron home? Wanna bet the thin ones with anemia were “healthy” enough to compete?
Now the USTA are changing their tack, “telling ABC News that Townsend was never banned from the U.S. Open and that the association always planned on reimbursing her expenses.” See? Just a big ol’ misunderstanding, y’all. Kinda puts the kibosh on their anemia/health excuse, since her health was apparently never a problem but instead it was golly so sorry about the miscommunication.
It doesn’t matter if you are a gold medalist or a champion. If you are a woman with “too much” fat for the sneering crowd then you are not healthy, not fit, and not good enough to be a real athlete. Apparently you only got those sports accolades because kindly pixies gave them to you.