Francoise Abanda Says She’s Treated Differently Because She’s Black

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Francoise Abanda returns to Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko during their Women's Single Match on day three at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

Canadian Francoise Abanda says she’s experienced racism in tennis.

But the 21-year-old from Montreal said her Twitter comments about discrimination on Wednesday weren’t aimed at fellow player Eugenie Bouchard.

“I don’t have a problem with her, and I respect all the things she’s achieved and I don’t want to bash Bouchard, she played amazing in Fed Cup, we got along really well,” Abanda said Wednesday from Slovakia after reaching the second round of the ITF Trnava tournament.

I will never get the same treatment because I am black. It’s the truth! https://t.co/TicR8OnWo0

— Françoise Abanda (@franckie_abanda) May 16, 2018

She held a conference call hours after tweeting that she doesn’t get the same recognition as Bouchard because she is black. Responding to a Twitter user who questions the discrepancy in attention, Abanda posted Wednesday morning: “I will never get the same treatment because I am black. It’s the truth!” Abanda posted on her verified account.

Abanda is currently the highest-ranked women’s tennis player in Canada at No. 128. Bouchard, a former No. 5 from Westmount, Que., has seen a steep decline in her career since reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014 and is currently ranked 169th. But she’s remained in the public eye partly because of her social media presence, endorsements and modelling sessions.

The problem is “a lot deeper” than simply comparing the two players, Abanda said on the call.

“I think the problem is a racial problem, and I think that there is some inferiority and superiority going on, and I think that speaking from my personal experience, I have lived with racism in tennis growing up and playing in Quebec, and I’m just speaking the truth and what I’ve experienced,” she said.

She said she’s witnessed “hundreds and hundreds” of discriminatory acts throughout her career, and recalled, as an example, an opponent at an under-12 tournament who told her to “go back to your country.”

She mentioned being excluded from a Tennis Canada video celebrating Canada Day last year that featured the country’s top players.

“I don’t know the reason why I was excluded to this day,” she said. “I found it weird that I was excluded from the video, as all the other Canadian players were there. It was unfair to exclude me.”

A Tennis Canada spokesperson, however, said Abanda was excluded because the player had offered video that was of poor quality, and that Abanda wasn’t available to shoot a segment for the …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

      

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