‘There Are FBI Investigations Going On..’ – 30-Year-Old American Tennis Star Sloane Stephens Sheds Light on the Persistent Problem That’s Bothering Athletes Across Sports

Published 05/30/2023, 7:18 AM EDT

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Tennis might be seen as an all-inclusive sport, however, several players are still battling with issues, both on and off the court. Even legendary players like Venus and Serena Williams went through an excruciating experience of crowd heckling at the 2001 Indian Wells. Now the current generation stars like Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens are dealing with the same. The former US Open champion Sloane Stephens has brought to light how people are finding different ways to spread hate comments, despite the presence of technology to prevent them.

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According to the American Star, the intensity and frequency of such hate comments have increased so much that even the elite investigative force, the FBI, has stepped in to tackle this issue. And Stephens made sure to give people a wake-up call about that.

Sloane Stephens on the ever-rising trend of racism in sports 

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The 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens secured an impressive victory in straight sets against Karolina Pliskova at the ongoing French Open.

However, that did little to protect her from all the racist hate comments. During the post-match press conference reported by Reuters, she stated, “It’s obviously been a problem my entire career. It has never stopped. If anything, it’s only gotten worse.”

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Expressing her worry for fellow players in general, she stated, “I mean, obviously when there are FBI investigations going on with what people are saying to you online, it’s very serious.” 

Apart from the FBI, the French Open has provided its players with a software to filter out and prevent hate messages from reaching the players.

Even if Stephens is not using it, she has improvised her Instagram to prevent rash comments. However, people have found loopholes with that too. She stated, “That doesn’t stop someone from just typing in an asterisk or typing it in a different way.”

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The issue of racist comments being directed at players has been an issue in tennis over the years. Both Venus and Serena Williams boycotted Indian Wells for 14 years to protest against it. However, the career-long efforts of such players are not bearing fruits.

Stephens isn’t the only player to raise her voice against this issue

It is not just Stephens who feels this way. The current WTA World No.14 Taylor Townsend recently gave her views on the issue as well. Bringing the security issue at tournaments to the forefront, she told how others were allowed to pass through. However, the security was always double-checking her. She also narrated how people assumed she was Coco Gauff, or even Serena Williams, just because she is black.

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WATCH THIS STORY: 42-Year-Old Venus Williams Relishes the Best Impulsive Decision of Her Life That Happened 16 Years Ago – ‘I Love Him Already..’

Legendary players like Venus and Serena Williams always made it their priority to diminish such issues. However, this unfortunate trend, unfortunately, continues to rise.

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Written by:

Shivali Sharma

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Shivali Sharma is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports, who specializes in off-court topics and has a particular focus on the legendary ‘Queen of the Court’, Serena Williams. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Shivali has authored numerous articles covering varied topics concerning the 23-time Grand Slam champion, including her personal life, career, and more. In addition to her work on Serena Williams, Shivali is also a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires the four-time Major winner, particularly for her advocacy for mental health.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas

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