I just realized that my series on Lynn Barber and Rafa could be titled Look Back in Anger! Ugg, what a great title, wasted!
Anyway, the last part of the article I wanted to address is Lynn Barber’s assertion that, because tennis players in the past used to throw racquets and have sex in broom closets, they were far less constrained, and the fans knew the real stars.
I want to respond to this assertion with a story I read at the end of last year on ESPN. The writer described a hockey player who spent much of his career engaging in the kind of behavior Lynn Barber celebrates with nostalgia. He did drugs and engaged in promiscuous sex, and if memory serves me right, he also frequented strip clubs. Lynn Barber would say that he was showing his true self to the world.
However, the hockey player in the story relates that, as a youth, he had been sexually abused by a coach. He describes his use of drugs and sex as a desperate form of self-medication, anything to numb the pain. Later, he found help, and now runs a foundation trying to help other victims.