They Said What? The Missing Hispanics
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 /BY PETER BODO
TAGS: They Said What?
“Tennis is hugely popular in South America and Spain, Rafa [Nadal] is an international star, and yet, Spanish-speaking kids here are not choosing our sport. We should have huge numbers of Hispanic kids playing tennis in places like Miami, Southern California, New York and Chicago, and we don’t.”—Patrick McEnroe, head of USTA Player Development [and brother of John McEnroe], quoted by Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald.
I’m a little reluctant to call this a “problem,” because as much as I like tennis, I’m not sure the biggest issue facing Hispanics in the U.S. is a lack of homegrown ATP or WTA cannon fodder. But it is certainly interesting that, as McEnroe notes, even with tennis’ vast popularity in nations with large Hispanic populations and a deep pool of well-loved Hispanic players, few American Hispanics are on the USTA radar, no matter how far you go down the scale in sanctioned competitions.
McEnroe went on to speculate: “My guess is it’s an economic issue, and a cultural issue. We are doing much better with African-Americans and Asian-Americans. I see lots of those kids playing at our regional centers, but very few Hispanics.”
"They said what?"