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We are allowing anonymous Letters to the Editor because we understand your position and have experienced USTA backlash to dissenting voices ourselves. Please be aware whenever a letter is signed with The Commish it's always a tennis director, a teaching professional, a vendor or a USTA insider who is in fear of retribution. Thank you. We look forward to the day when everyone can voice their opinion freely and without fear.

HEAD Gravity Tennis Racquet



October 9, 2021



Your article on the PNW section just highlights the institutionalized bias and process used by public sector groups in the US, Canada, Africa, etc in tennis, football [soccer], etc. This process is one where the public sector truly sees nothing wrong with the misappropriation of public funds at the detriment of the athletes, coaches, and the game they represent.


Many of us have decided to simply improve our circle of influence as the limited energy we have is better channeled in creating a better environment for the development of the sport and its participants than trying to communicate with groups that have no interest in meaningful discussions to improve the overall climate by maximizing the resources of the sport.


Mavericks and activists can easily be pushed aside by a wall of silence, personal insinuations, and the use of buy-offs…..the president’s box.


Keep up the good work, but remember to use your energy and resources to grow the game regardless of the institutionalized closed-mindedness of our public servants ????


Always enjoy your insight and know I am not alone.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

Neuro Tennis




October 15, 2021

We were sent the following email from Marisa Grimes, USTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. We're not sure whom it was addressed to but below it are some comments from TCB readers who had seen it.


All - 


Next Wednesday, October 20 marks International Pronouns Day, a day dedicated to educating others on the significance of personal pronouns. Many of us take pronouns for granted, and might not have been misgendered (addressed by the wrong gender pronouns) at work. However, for many transgender and gender nonconforming people, being misgendered is a constant challenge, and can feel alienating.


As our workplace and sport becomes more diverse and inclusive, we thought now was a perfect time to discuss this topic. The USTA National Diversity & Inclusion team will host a webinar on International Pronouns Day with Justin Andrade, the Director of Social Justice and Advocacy at the University of Central Florida. Also attached is a Pronoun Guide with FAQs. 


Please see below for details to register for the webinar: 


World Pronoun Day with Justin Andrade (he, him, el), Director of Social Justice and Advocacy at UCF


October 20th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET


To register for this event, please login to the USTA LRC, select USTA Workshops, click "Inclusive Education" and select the session for World Pronoun Day. Once registered, you will receive a calendar invitation which will include the corresponding video meeting link.




Marisa Grimes (she/her)
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

United States Tennis Association
70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY 10604

Pronoun Guide - FAQs What are pronouns and why do they matter? 

● Pronouns are a part of language that indicates the gender of the person being discussed. For example, saying “he is here” indicates the person uses he/him pronouns. 

● A person’s pronouns indicate what words you should use when discussing them - and if you do not know what pronouns they use, it’s easy to default to “they/them” (as was done in this sentence). 

● If a person uses he/him pronouns and you say “she is right over there,” you have misgendered them and perhaps implicitly sent a harmful message that people must look a certain way to be referred to by certain pronouns. When & where should I share my pronouns? 

● Any time you’re meeting someone for the first time is a great time to share your pronouns. If you’re giving new people information about yourself like your name, it’s easy to add “and I use x/y pronouns” in there as well. 

● It’s also easy to add pronouns on social media and other online platforms for personal and professional use. ○ Professional 

■ LinkedIn has a feature for users to display their pronouns next to their name 

● You can also record a name pronunciation guide!

■ Slack - manually write your pronouns next to your name 

● They have also released a new feature where administrators of a workspace can add a space for pronouns in a profile 

■ Email signatures - an easy way to avoid misgendering someone you’ve never interacted with in person or via phone/video 

■ Zoom - previously people manually changed their display name by going into account settings, but the newest version of the app allows people to enter them as part of their profile ○ Personal 

■ Instagram - a newly added feature makes it easy to add your pronouns next to your name on your profile What do I do if I misgender someone? 

● Correct yourself and move on. While you may feel the instinct to profusely apologize, fixing your behavior and adjusting for the future is the best thing you can do for the person who has been misgendered, and yourself. If you feel the need to apologize, do it in a one-on-one setting so it doesn’t put them on the spot in front of others. 

● It’s also helpful to remember that while they were once referred to as “preferred” pronouns, a person’s pronouns are who they are, not a preference which indicates a choice. 

More resources    


"It is nonsense like this that so many of us are so frustrated from within the USTA Organization.  We simply want to play tennis, enjoy the game we all love, and keep politics out of the sport we all love.  I wonder if the USTA really knows how uncomfortable they are making many they serve?"


"The USTA is concerned about alienating people? HEADLINE NEWS!!! Virtue Signaling Par Excelénce! Award-Winning."



Being politically correct in an age when electronics are taking kids away is utterly stupid. That does not mean I don't wish to be politically correct, what it means is that image for USTA is pivotal when in fact they should worry about the structure of the system. A good coat of paint is useless on a cracking building foundation.

Javier Palenque


This is just another example of the USTA showing that it has lost focus on what its mission is. And the same goes for other tennis organizations and businesses who feel the same way. 


The manner in which a person is treated should matter more than the pronoun used when referring to them. The question we should be asking is whether all people (ethnicity, race, gender, age, location, etc.) have programs where they can learn to play and enjoy the sport.


I have a female tennis player who frequently said, “You can call me Fred or you can call me Susan, just don’t call me late for dinner.” 


During the 1960s the Civil Rights movement sought to integrate people as a way of making our society a better place for all people. Something went wrong because we are now more focused on putting people into silos based on their race, gender, ethnicity, age, income, occupation, where they live, and what kind of car they drive. Then those groups are being pitted against each other. That will lead to the destruction of our society and the USTA is a willing accomplice in that destruction. In the process of eliminating alleged discrimination against one group of people, we are discriminating against others. (You have this quality and I don't, therefore you are obliged to compensate me because I am not like you.)


Within the past year, our local art museum has gotten into social engineering. We haven’t been back since that started.


At the 2000 Cincinnati Open, the USTA demonstrated that its left-leaning agenda was more important than promoting tennis and getting past the pandemic. That is when I stopped watching tennis on television. I haven’t watched the NFL and NBA for several years for similar reasons.  Note: People are entitled to their opinions - right, left, or in the middle. I am fine with that. My opposition is to them cramming that agenda down my throat. This is as disgusting as a person in a position of power like a teacher or boss using that power to take advantage of a student, athlete, or employee.


Reportedly 3 million people started playing tennis during the pandemic. Did they take up the sport because they knew the USTA was going to play the pronoun game? Will they continue playing the sport because the USTA is now an active promoter of the pronoun game?     


Tennis is a form of entertainment. The USTA amplification of the pronoun movement gives me yet another reason not to support them. The inmates are running the prison.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them


In response to Rich Neher's article

Anyone Insane Enough to Think We Know What the Hell We’re Doing?


October 10, 2021

Rich, I am in awe and in full agreement with your well-thought out and researched appraisal of our USTA's performance both past and present. It is time for either a complete overhaul of the USTA which would indeed require divisions to step up and formulate a path to reorganize the 'non-profit' organization or replace the organization completely. The problem, of course, as I've discussed with many board members in various divisions, is a) the fear of reprisal, (ie: Job loss by division members); b) Little to no voice in the national arena by division boards; c) Nepotism/incestual leadership within the national board; d) The lack of a clear leader whom ALL divisions can embrace, trust, and initiate as the leader of the USTA.

It may be time, (ie: IS TIME), for all tennis enthusiasts, (from pros, coaches, schools, players, parents, and industry and manufacturing leaders,) to form a new coalition that is sizable, sustainable, and has clear direction and constitution, to overcome the USTA and either force change--or become the new governing board for US tennis


As you outlined, there are SO MANY problems, falsehoods, lack of transparency, the inability to bring tennis forward and connect ALL the dots that make up the tapestry of our sport, and many other issues, that we have lost trust and faith in our one-and-only US governing board.

It may be time to put the big gorilla in its cage and let loose a new beast that can lead this industry back on a true upward path of respect, honesty, integrity, and value. One that actually operates within the actual mission statement and core principles it says it functions from...but obviously chooses to turn a blind eye to anything that deviates from their cushy salaries, 'job security', and their 'friends and family' sense of position.

Thanks again for the courage to point out that which so many of us certainly agree with. We all WISH the USTA would function in a fashion that we could embrace and be proud of. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do within the current model the USTA operates from.

Best Wishes,

David W. Smith

2019 National High School Tennis Coaches Assn; Hall of Fame Inductee.


Creator, Author, Disney Mysteries, "Hidden Mickey"


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