"In my generation, it's all new, 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. So for [Coco] to have that freedom and to take advantage of that platform, it's fabulous."
Leslie Allen is known as “The Professor” and she joins us this week to educate.
After a career at USC, Allen competed in the 1970s and '80s, becoming the first Black woman since Althea Gibson to win a WTA title. She would reach as high as No. 17 in singles and No. 10 in doubles. She's been a media director, a tournament director, a TV broadcaster, a WTA board director and is the CEO of Win4Life.
Allen looks back on her era when she was afraid to speak up as freely as young players can today. (Getty)
The 63-year-old is thrilled to see young players like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka speaking out during the Black Lives Matter movement as it's a freedom she wasn't granted during her era on tour. After always worrying about ruining it for the next Black player, she isn't afraid to speak up now. She explains what upset her about the USTA's BLM statement, what exactly systematic racism is and how white people can make a difference, using Alice Marble in 1950 as an example.
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