'Not everyone can be an Arthur Ashe': How a tennis legend created the blueprint for athlete activism

Culture June 30, 2022 Culture
'Not everyone can be an Arthur Ashe': How a tennis legend created the blueprint for athlete activism

From CNN | Tennis by Sana Noor Haq, CNN

Arthur Ashe balletically leaps across the grass court, his gold chain peeking from behind his white polo shirt. He serves unreturned aces and then returns low forehand volleys as his opponent, Jimmy Connors, looks down in frustration.

The opening scenes of the new CNN film, "Citizen Ashe," show moments from Ashe's Wimbledon victory against Connors in July 1975, when he became the first and only Black man to have won the prestigious tennis grand slam.

But the historic match symbolized the tension Ashe faced throughout his career; the weight of expectation from the tennis world, the racism he faced as a Black athlete and his humanitarian work.

Photo by David Ashdown / Keystone / Hulton Archives / Getty Images

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