August 19, 1934 —
Three years ago, we wrote about our lack of profiles of female tennis players. So we ended up profiling Maria Sharapova. Who is, yes, a tennis player, yes, female, but definitely not Jewish. Yet she had a tie to Israel, and — voila! — profile! And we moved on.
So here we have Renee Richards. Definitely Jewish. Definitely a tennis player, making the US Open doubles final in 1977. Definitely female?
Well, yes... but it's not that simple. Before 1975, Renee was Richard Raskind, ophthalmologist, and occasional tennis player. But Richard wasn't exactly happy being Richard and became Renee.
After the transition, Richards tried to compete as a female, causing quite a stir. There was much objection from her opponents and tennis governing bodies, which tried to bar her from playing. She sued for her right to compete, won, and proceeded to turn heads — in more ways than one — at the US Open.
So here you have it, a Jewish female — yes, female! — tennis player. Satisfied?
March 20, 2012