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CURRENT IT TOPIC - A Few Things About the U.S. Tennis Open Women's Finals That Broke My Heart

- A man's dented ego ruined an excellent sporting event 

- A woman of proven integrity who's constantly monitored for infractions, being publicly accused of cheating while minding her business on the job 

- Wanting it to be a fair call in one or two or three situations yet, knowing the truth carried in the souls of foremothers who squared up their shoulders, sensing their daughters' daughters' daughters' daughters needed extra support while a man sitting high above two female warriors inserted himself in a match that wasn't supposed to be about him. 

- Understanding that male tennis players have done the same and worse with this umpire and others for the entire open era.  

- Watching a woman, especially one of color, be put in her place. We've all been there. We felt it when she did. Heard that whisper, "How dare you? You're too uppity. It's time to remind you who's boss. No matter what you achieve and what I never attempt, I'll still reign over you." 

- Heaven forbid a woman of color stands up for herself. Demand her justice. Seem "entitled" or "unbecoming." We must remain grateful, humble, and small even if we are the proven G.O.A.T. of G.O.A.T.s 

- The satisfaction others, especially women, took in witnessing this public canning. 

- That sickly feeling when you softly chant, "Don't do it." Don't cry. Don't display your justified anger. Don't defend yourself to the point of insulting his delicate White man sensibilities. Don't perform for them. Don't allow this to break your concentration, your spirit. Don't give them the satisfaction of pitting one woman of color against another. Don't be at fault. Don't lose. 

- knowing that we've all had those reactionary moments, but the world wasn't watching. We've cried in the office bathroom, spoken too harshly and loudly during a meeting, stormed off in anger, or quit on the spot.  

- Watching a stream of older White personnel determine the fate of two women of color. 

- Listening to those who'll never be subjected to the same speech about sportsmanship. The same people who misbehave in football stadium stands, yell obscenities during N.B.A. games, and accost pro athlete family members in grocery stores. Then cry on the rare occasion they are held accountable for their actions. 

- Frustrated that I can't go to a bar with friends, watch sports, and not have mess overshadow the fun.  

- Realizing that by the time we're done talking this through, another Black or Brown person will be killed, and I'll be dragged down again. #ThisMama needs space to breathe. 

- Being helpless to do anything about it.  

- never knowing how it really would have ended if the athletes had been able to play without interference. Would Serena have lost? Would she have grunted and powered through to another victory? What would Naomi have done when she won her first grand slam? Laughed? Cried? Danced? Jumped in the air?  

Despite the above and so much more, we still rise. 

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