A week ago the US Open announced plans for their 2020 event to be held behind closed doors.
No reasoning, consultation or even compensation was spoken about for the wheelchair athletes after cancelling their event. There was no communication in a shaming handling of the situation.
Dylan Alcott called them out for discrimination and other athletes and able-bodied athletes rallied around for the US Open to change their mind.
The US Open did then hold a call with wheelchair athletes and gave them three options:
1 – Play in Orlando in October
2 – Play as usual at the US Open
3 – Compensation for all players
I still believe the US Open should have completely re-instated and also compensated players who didn’t want to play (safety fears) after such a shambolic handling of this.
The players voted and a high majority voted in favour of playing as per usual from the 10th to 13th of September. I still don’t know why the USTA offered Orlando in October, bit strange…
It is good in a week we have seen a complete turnaround in what has happened. As per the singles and doubles the players will receive 95% of the prize money on offer last year.
The fact this conversation has had to be had is damaging for the US Open and a step back in equality in sport and society.
How could an event which boasts having a wheelchair tennis tournament director fail to even communicate with players before cancelling and think it’s ok? Bridges to build.
The US Open statement read like this: