Not that we should expect much from the mostly apolitical, far-too-removed-from-reality, million-dollar salaries, lavish lifestyles that define today's pro athlete. But when you read stories about a Deion Sanders, a Shaquille O'Neal or a Peyton Manning stepping up, literally pitching in or demanding that fellow pro athletes give money to help the situation in New Orleans, one can't help but admire the care and compassion some of our sport icons have shown. Indeed, a whole gang of pro athletes have stepped up and contributed to the relief efforts going on down in New Orleans. More reason to find it pathetic that Venus Williams, tennis superstar and Black woman would be so ignorant to the point of not having any idea what was taking place in N.O.
While a concerned nation sits spellbound through wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Katrina, desperate for anything resembling good news to come out of the Gulf region, Williams turns the channel. Breezily, she admits she's never had much of a stomach for hard news and generally tries to steer clear of it.
"I kind of leave it like that because it's better not to know," she said Wednesday after waxing Maria Kirilenko in 74 minutes in the second round of the U.S. Open. Overall, the disruption to her life has been slight, the lone casualty just a delayed charter from South Florida to LaGuardia.
"I was barely able to get out of the storm [and to the U.S. Open on time]," Williams said. "I didn't know it was coming till someone started talking about it from my office."
A day later, before the PR time bomb had a chance to blow up, in came the clarification from publicist Lisa Sorensen.
"Before I left Florida for the U.S. Open, I didn't know about the hurricane," Williams explained through Sorensen. "But during Wednesday's press conference, I was very much aware of it and the impact it had on Louisiana."
Yeah, nothing like backtracking and taking advantage of your publicist when you put your big foot in your mouth.
Ignorance is bliss.