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Woman sues to get men to play her
The News & Observer ^ | 08/11/09 | LEAH FRIEDMAN, Staff Writer

Posted on 08/11/2009 9:09:27 AM PDT by Harrius Magnus

Woman sues to get men to play her

Men must accept a challenge, suit against Raleigh says

BY LEAH FRIEDMAN, Staff Writer
Nancy Griffin prefers to play tennis against men. And she often beats them in a men's league sponsored by the city of Raleigh.

Some men don't like playing Griffin.

Three years ago, league members voted to rescind a rule that penalized them for refusing to compete against her or anyone else. The change has kept her from taking on some of the league's top players. Men have invoked both their wives and God to avoid matches against her.

Now, Griffin has made her problems on the court a matter for a court. She is suing the city, alleging discrimination. She wants the penalty rule reinstated and the city to pay her $10,000 or more for emotional distress.

Griffin has been playing since she was 10 and was recruited to play at Barton College in Wilson. In 1993 and 1994, the U.S. Tennis Association ranked her among North Carolina's top female singles players.

Today, the 41-year-old substitute teacher says her fitness and unorthodox, self-taught technique make her a formidable opponent. She rates a 5.0 on the National Tennis Rating Program's 7.0 scale. Raleigh's highest level of competition for either sex is a 4.5 challenge ladder, in which participants challenge each other to move up in ranking.

Griffin joined the men's ladder in 1999, hoping for keener competition. "I just signed up and played," she said. "Nobody tried to stop me."

She made it to the final eight tournament all nine times she played. Then, in 2003, she tried to sign up for the summer season. But city officials said women could no longer play on the men's ladder because a co-ed ladder had been created.

On and off the ladder

Griffin petitioned the city to let her back onto the men's ladder, gathering 300 signatures, including 20 from men on the ladder.

Raleigh tennis officials relented and let her play.

That winter, though, the excuses began.

"One said he had a jealous wife, and he couldn't play females," Griffin said. "Another said he heard I made people run too much."

Griffin complained. Ken Glanville, the city's assistant tennis director, responded with a new rule: A challenger would get 24 points any time an opponent ignored a challenge or refused to play, Griffin said. It was called the "avoidance rule."

In spring 2006, Griffin won the men's 4.5 ladder tournament. The next season, she invoked the rule for the first time when a would-be opponent ignored her challenge but went on to play men. Glanville awarded her 24 points and said he would review the rule, according to an e-mail provided by Griffin's attorney.

Soon after, the city sent an e-mail to members of the ladder, asking whether the avoidance rule should be scuttled.

Out went the rule.

In an e-mail to Griffin provided by her lawyer, Glanville said the move was best for everyone. "The best compromise is that now you are able to play anyone on the ladder regardless of rank and if you can't coordinate with a player you just move on and play someone else," he added.

Efforts to reach him failed.

"To me, the way they went about removing the rule wasn't right," Griffin said. "A lot of the men probably didn't realize why the rule was there."

She continued to complain to city tennis officials.

In an e-mail Sept. 6, 2007, David Bell, the city's tennis director, told Griffin he didn't think men were avoiding playing her because of her sex.

"The city is not in the position of requiring each player on the ladder to play each other," Bell wrote. "From the information I've received so far, there seems to be no indication that players are avoiding you based on your sex."

Bell declined to comment.

The reasons men give

Without the avoidance penalty, the excuses resumed.

"If they say I have to play you then I will quit the ladder to keep peace because I don't feel comfortable playing a singles match with another woman other than my wife as I do not think it would honor my wife," Adam Schainblatt wrote in an e-mail to Griffin earlier this year.

Schainblatt said Monday that he wants to play only men. He's never asked his wife if she would mind his playing women.

"It's me, not her," he said.

Randy Browning asked Griffin not to challenge him.

"As a husband, father and deacon in my church, I don't believe it's a good thing for me to be seen out playing a female other than my wife in casual matches without her around," Browning wrote in a Sept. 4 e-mail provided by Griffin's attorney. "As a believer I hope you can understand this."

He declined to comment.

Without the avoidance rule, Griffin has been unable to gain enough points to move up the ladder, according to her suit.

Raleigh officials, including City Manager Russell Allen and Mayor Charles Meeker, would not comment.

Some guys don't mind

There are men who enjoy playing Griffin.

Nile Testerman, who has played her several times, says he has no problem with women on the ladder, especially Griffin, who is one of two female competitors this season.

"She's stronger than half the players in it," he said. "It shows in her win-loss record. She's always in the top."

He said he didn't know the avoidance rule had even existed, but it seemed OK.

"You've got to play when people ask you to play," he said.

Despite the lawsuit, Griffin continues to compete on the men's ladder.

"I'm a follower of Jesus Christ; and I love everyone on here," she said. "I just want the program run fairly for everyone."

Griffin said the dispute has taken a toll, and she's experienced depression. But the fall season begins Aug. 24. She'll be playing.

leah.friedman@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4546


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
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1 posted on 08/11/2009 9:09:27 AM PDT by Harrius Magnus
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To: Harrius Magnus

I didn’t read the article. What was it about. (Sarcasm)


2 posted on 08/11/2009 9:10:52 AM PDT by BertWheeler (Dance and the world dances with you...)
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To: Harrius Magnus

I don’t blame men for not wanting to play her. It’s a lose-lose situation. Whereas for her, it’s win-big win.


3 posted on 08/11/2009 9:12:02 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Harrius Magnus

Tennis? From the title I was wondering......


4 posted on 08/11/2009 9:12:35 AM PDT by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: Tublecane
I don’t blame men for not wanting to play her. It’s a lose-lose situation. Whereas for her, it’s win-big win.

 

I might say the same regarding marriage.  Oh, but wait, women already sue for that reason.

5 posted on 08/11/2009 9:14:09 AM PDT by Harrius Magnus (LIBERALS: We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.)
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To: Harrius Magnus
Oh, Puhleez!
6 posted on 08/11/2009 9:14:12 AM PDT by bondjamesbond (Because, deep in my heart, I do believe, that we shall overcome some day.)
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To: Harrius Magnus

” Griffin said the dispute has taken a toll, and she’s experienced depression. “

sheeeeessshhhh......


7 posted on 08/11/2009 9:14:47 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Harrius Magnus

Whatever happened to the simple basic right of freedom of association? The men shouldn’t even have to give any further reason for not wanting to play with her other than “I don’t want to”. This is ridiculous and the kind of “mentality” (no brain) that brought us unisex bathrooms and trannies being allowed to use any restroom they choose, the better for your children to be exposed early in life to perversion.


8 posted on 08/11/2009 9:15:04 AM PDT by mrsmel (Put the Gitmo terrorists near Capitol Hill.)
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To: Harrius Magnus

I think she’s got a point. Either female players need to be specifically barred from the competition, or players need to be penalized for ducking her. This middle ground of letting her participate but allowing would-be competitors to ignore her just doesn’t seem right.


9 posted on 08/11/2009 9:15:28 AM PDT by kevkrom (Obama: Stuck on "Stupidly")
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To: kevkrom

Man up and play or go home.....


10 posted on 08/11/2009 9:17:52 AM PDT by misterrob (A society that burdens future generations with debt can not be considered moral or just)
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To: Harrius Magnus

11 posted on 08/11/2009 9:18:24 AM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Harrius Magnus
I think it would take
a lawsuit to get most men
to play this woman...

12 posted on 08/11/2009 9:18:28 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Harrius Magnus

similarly, most Congresscritters have invoked wives and God to avoid telling the truth about the crappy bills they pass.


13 posted on 08/11/2009 9:19:04 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: Harrius Magnus

I would run and hide....

14 posted on 08/11/2009 9:19:41 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: theFIRMbss

i’ll bet she grunts when she hits it.


15 posted on 08/11/2009 9:20:19 AM PDT by OldCorps
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To: Harrius Magnus
I don't believe it's a good thing for me to be seen out playing a female other than my wife in casual matches

Huh? It's a tennis match, not a motel-room tryst.

16 posted on 08/11/2009 9:20:25 AM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (America is the best -- 20 million illegal immigrants can't be wrong.)
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To: Harrius Magnus
“Another said he heard I made people run too much.”

That's called tactics. Do these people play patty-cake across the net? I used to just love to get the big basketball and football jocks out on the court where this (formerly) 5'10” 155 lb guy could make fools out of them.

17 posted on 08/11/2009 9:21:13 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (What's "My Struggle" in Kenyan?)
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To: Harrius Magnus

They really should rethink that title.


18 posted on 08/11/2009 9:21:44 AM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: Disambiguator
>11 posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:18:24 AM by Disambiguator
>12 posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:18:28 AM by theFIRMbss


You win by seconds
but I stopped to put in text
and format the words!

19 posted on 08/11/2009 9:23:01 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Harrius Magnus

So a really good male should then be allowed to join the women’s ladder and clean up every year. Fair is fair.


20 posted on 08/11/2009 9:23:07 AM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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If she's that f'ng good, then why doesn't she just go pro and dominate the Women's Tennis Association ? Wouldn't that get her a lot more than $10,000 ? Nooo....she's got the "gimme gimme" mentality...I'm not getting what I want so SOMEBODY owes me.

Sheesh....

21 posted on 08/11/2009 9:24:23 AM PDT by Mopp4
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To: Harrius Magnus

I now formally challenge her to a name-writing-in-the-snow contest. If she fails to accept I will sue.


22 posted on 08/11/2009 9:26:04 AM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: theFIRMbss
I would play her - probably kick her butt. My kick serve would make her arm so tired she wouldn't be able to lift it over her head for an overhead.

Then, I wouldn't mind... Oh, stop!

23 posted on 08/11/2009 9:26:57 AM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: autumnraine
Woman sues to get men to play her

I really have to get my mind out of the gutter.

24 posted on 08/11/2009 9:27:34 AM PDT by colorado tanker (Watch out, I'm a member of the Mob)
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To: Harrius Magnus

Sport rules should be sex-neutral. Let all compete and let the better player win.


25 posted on 08/11/2009 9:29:52 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: Harrius Magnus

Let her have her way...As a matter of fact, eliminate both men’s and women’s leagues and only have one league for everyone.


26 posted on 08/11/2009 9:31:33 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Harrius Magnus

LOL, men don’t want to lose to a woman.

You’re a loser no matter who beats you. You’re a bigger loser if you refuse a challenge.

If they have a penalty rule it should apply to everyone.


27 posted on 08/11/2009 9:32:48 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: theFIRMbss

Do you use an automated software to divide your lines like that? I don’t think I could do that, especially for every post. Would make me mad!


28 posted on 08/11/2009 9:32:49 AM PDT by library user
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged

including wrestling


29 posted on 08/11/2009 9:33:07 AM PDT by dinoparty
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To: kevkrom
"I think she’s got a point. Either female players need to be specifically barred from the competition, or players need to be penalized for ducking her. This middle ground of letting her participate but allowing would-be competitors to ignore her just doesn’t seem right."

Such a shallow cause to fight for, so pitiably shallow. Methinks she needs an addadictome operation, then she can play with herself all day long.

30 posted on 08/11/2009 9:33:11 AM PDT by jiminycricket000
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To: Harrius Magnus

Aside from the lawsuit business, what is wrong with people? IF I played tennis I would play her every chance I got. If she is that good then she can help you play better. If she is personally a jerk, then that is different. Just say that straight out: “I would play you, but I can’t stand you.”


31 posted on 08/11/2009 9:36:36 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: ladyjane
LOL, men don’t want to lose to a woman.

Speaking of... how's 0 going to feel when Palin kicks his ass in 2012?

32 posted on 08/11/2009 9:39:04 AM PDT by library user
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To: Harrius Magnus

Evidently they now have men’s, women’s, and co-ed ladders.

How could they allow a woman to play on the men’s ladder, and not allow men to play on the women’s ladder? All this one-sided insistence on affirmative action is killing genuine equality.

Or, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


33 posted on 08/11/2009 9:41:17 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Let her have her way...As a matter of fact, eliminate both men’s and women’s leagues and only have one league for everyone.

And we can take it a step further. How 'bout everyone wins, and gets a trophy....you know....like the kids now-a-days!

On a serious note, as a tournament and league tennis player, I would have no problem having a woman as my opponent. It's all about the competition. These guys need to grow a pair and recognize that they don't want to play her for fear of losing to a woman. If she truly is a 5.5, then she's pretty darn good. That is the level of most Division 1 college players. I also wonder how many of them would make flimsy excuses about playing someone like Jelena Dokic:


34 posted on 08/11/2009 9:44:51 AM PDT by highnoon (Congressional Democrats - the TRUE domestic terrorists.)
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To: Harrius Magnus

Her civil rights aren’t being violated. She has nothing to lose by not being able to play men. Why is she suing let along suing for money?

Watch. She’s the kind of bitch that will shut down the whole league if she doesn’t get her way.


35 posted on 08/11/2009 9:47:31 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici
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To: theFIRMbss

I thought the picture pretty much said it all.


36 posted on 08/11/2009 9:54:19 AM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: highnoon
I'm still waiting for Anna Kournikova to call me for a match.


37 posted on 08/11/2009 9:54:35 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Harrius Magnus

Sometimes I am amazed at the “logoc” that is used to justify cowardice. If you are in a league play the people in the bracket otherwise take move along move along


38 posted on 08/11/2009 9:55:58 AM PDT by the long march
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To: Tublecane

Bwahahahahahaha

waaa waaa waa call me an ambulance


39 posted on 08/11/2009 9:56:28 AM PDT by the long march
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To: Harrius Magnus

These men are wimps, that is all.

Maybe they should work on getting better.


40 posted on 08/11/2009 9:57:40 AM PDT by Unassuaged (I have shocking data relevant to the conversation!)
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To: Tublecane
I don’t blame men for not wanting to play her.

Every man is entitled to be a pussy. Right?

41 posted on 08/11/2009 9:58:31 AM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: mrsmel
Whatever happened to the simple basic right of freedom of association?

This is tax payer sponsored league.

42 posted on 08/11/2009 10:01:24 AM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Dixie Yooper
>I'm still waiting for Anna Kournikova to call me for a match

I'm still waiting for
Sharapova to call me
for something to eat...

43 posted on 08/11/2009 10:04:56 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: ConservaTexan
If she fails to accept I will sue.

If your contest is tax payer sponsored like this tennis league then you should sue. Of course, we know that it is liberals that like to sue so you will have leave FR and go over the the DU.

44 posted on 08/11/2009 10:05:33 AM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Jeff Gordon

Freedom of Association would seem to imply you’re free to join the league or not - and I’ve heard no claims to the contrary. When you’re in a sports league, though, you follow their rules. Choosing who you play does not appear to be a freedom of association issue (for league games, not casual ones.)


45 posted on 08/11/2009 10:07:55 AM PDT by agarrett
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To: Dixie Yooper

46 posted on 08/11/2009 10:13:27 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: BertWheeler

Checkers


47 posted on 08/11/2009 10:16:02 AM PDT by boomop1
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To: r9etb

“Guilty!”


48 posted on 08/11/2009 10:16:37 AM PDT by Dryman (Now, Back to Lurking)
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To: Tublecane
I don’t blame men for not wanting to play her.

Twaddle.

I never turned down a request from any female to play racquetball. At least one that I played against quite a few times was nationally ranked, and against her I won sometimes and lost other times. The ones who don't belong figure it out pretty quickly. The ones who do belong deserve credit for competing on a level playing field much as Judit Polgar and Rachel Alexandra have done. (Well, Rachel does get a weight allowance but they hardly matter and so I think she deserves credit.) The opportunity to compete should not be denied to anyone who has the demonstrated ability to compete.

ML/NJ

49 posted on 08/11/2009 10:16:47 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: evets
With beauties like Billie Jean King and Janet Reno, who ever said that Eleanor Roosevelt didn't have kids?
50 posted on 08/11/2009 10:19:10 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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