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Tennis

Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination By The USTA Against Wheelchair Tennis Players Ready To Roll

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Alan Rich, a documentary filmmaker from Brooklyn has filed a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association which contends that the organization discriminates against wheelchair tennis players due to the fact the USTA does not sell broadcasting rights to air their matches. Unbeknownst to me (and most people, I imagine), there is a wheelchair division at the U.S. Open which features the top 20 players.

Rich, a lawyer who is representing himself and seven handicapped players in the case, has been filming a documentary about the players called “Fire in the Belly.” He said his immediate goal is to be permitted to film the competition and later argue in court over whether the footage can be used in his documentary.

He contends that because the major networks covering the tournament — CBS, ESPN and the Tennis Channel — do not cover the wheelchair events, he should be given the rights.

I’m not trying to cause a racket here, but I don’t see the big deal. Let the guy wheel in his cameras and record the matches. Unfortunately, as is often the case when the little guy rolls up against a powerful organization like the USTA, Rich has a steep incline ahead of him and I wonder if he has the intestinal fortitude to make it up the hill.  You know, metaphorically speaking.

Yeah, that’s all I got. I thought I could come up with more wheelchair references, but it looks like my battery needs recharging.

Filmmaker says USTA discriminates against wheelchair players [SI.com/AP]