MANHATTAN (CN) – Zina Garrison accuses the U.S. Tennis Association of racial discrimination and retaliation. She claims the USTA paid her less than her white male counterpart, Patrick McEnroe, and refused to renew her contract “after she objected to derogatory and racially stereotyped remarks made by Sara Forniciari, then chair of the United States Fed Cup, about Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Garrison”.
Garrison claims Forniciari made the comments “within weeks after Garrison objected to top USTA officials’ racially stereotyped remarks about the Williams sisters. Garrison’s objections to Forniciari’s remarks led her to assert that she would ‘never speak to a black person again,'” according to the federal complaint.
Garrison claims the USTA refused to pay her “an equivalent salary to that of her white counterpart, Patrick McEnroe, captain of the United States Davis Cup,” refused to offer her a multi-year contract as it did to McEnroe, demanded she meet higher standards than white people, refused to renew her contract as captain of the U.S. Fed Cup, “instead selecting Mary Joe Fernandez, a less qualified non-African-American woman who had little to no coaching experience at the national level, and paying Fernandez a higher salary, pursuant to a multi-year contract, that it provided to Garrison. Defendant declined to renew plaintiff’s contract in November 2007.”
Garrison demands punitive damages. She is represented by Anne Vladeck with Vladeck, Waldman & Elias.