That’s fair enough. That’s not being unethical. Put it this way, you don’t see Michael Jordan calling fouls on himself in a game.”
IN MEMORY OF ARTHUR ASHE
In a year in which Major League Baseball paid tribute to Jackie Robinson and in which the National Basketball Association saw fit to place 33 African Americans on its team of the 50 greatest players of all-time, the United States Tennis Association did its constituents proud by naming its new stadium in honor of Arthur Ashe.
The 23,000-seat stadium will be the centerpiece of the U.S. Open and the USTA National Tennis Center for decades to come. Its official dedication on the Saturday before and the first Monday of this year’s U.S. Open is expected to attract a star-studded cast of luminaries from inside and outside the tennis world.
“Arthur Ashe was an outstanding tennis player, but we are naming our new stadium in his honor because he was the finest human being the sport of tennis has ever known,” says Harry Marmion, president of the USTA, the national governing body for tennis in America. “Arthur was — and through the example he set, still is — a role model to people throughout the world. It is only fitting that we recognize one of the brightest stars of tennis’s past through the facility that will be the focus of tennis’s future.”
The stadium is but one of many tributes made in Ashe’s name since he died in 1993. R i c h m o n d, Virginia, and Chicago each have an elementary school that bears his name. There’s an Arthur Ashe tennis academy in Soweto, an Arthur Ashe Junior Athlete of the Year program and an Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS. The latter gets some of its proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids Day, which is held the weekend before the U.S. Open. This year’s program will be highlighted by the first of two dedication ceremonies for the new stadium. Ashe’s 11-year-old daughter, Camera, is expected to handle the ribbon cutting.
Ashe won three grand slam tournaments (including Wimbledon in 1975) and 46 other singles and doubles titles during a career that stretched from 1968 to 1980. One of those grand slam victories was his thrilling 1968 U.S. Open triumph, which made him not only the first champion to win at the Open, but the first African-American man to win a Grand Slam title. That historic victory makes the dedication of the stadium in his honor even more momentous.
Away from the court, he was a staunch advocate for such causes as the U.S. anti-apartheid movement. As a volunteer for the USTA, he co-founded the National Junior Tennis League and was co-chair of the special committee that led to the formation of the USTA Player Development department.
“Arthur was very committed to the USTA and to helping it create opportunities for those who need them most,” says Jeanne Mountoussamy- Ashe, the widow of the legendary tennis player. “Arthur Ashe Stadium at the National Tennis Center will be a