Monday, November 9, 2009

'Open'


When I was in college, I had a poster of Andre Agassi on my dorm room wall. That mane of hair, those soulful eyes - I had a huge crush on Agassi. I followed his career on and off. When he married Brooke Shields, I wasn’t thrilled, but like he was going to consult me on that. His career took a bad turn and then he had an incredible come-back. He divorced and married one of my favorite female tennis players, Steffi Graff and had kids. They became philanthropists, opened a school for disadvantaged youth and have made a huge impact on their community. Both he and Steffi remain, to this day, two of my favorite athletes.

Then, his autobiography, Open, came out. If you haven’t heard, there’s controversy over his revelation that he did crystal meth and lied about it to the ATP when a drug test came back positive. Knowing this, I made sure to sit down to watch his interview with “60 Minutes” last night. And you know what? I think I like him even more now.

He’s been very honest about the time he used drugs and the self-loathing that was involved with it. The interview was excellent, but not until Katie Couric brought up the reactions and comments that fellow tennis players have made, did he get emotional. She quoted Martina Navratilova who attacked Agassi for lying about the drug use and compared him to baseball player Roger Clemons, who used steroids and lied about it. Agassi was taking inhibiters, not enhancers, so he was in no way trying to improve his game. He was addicted, he was depressed and he didn’t care about his life or tennis anymore. During the interview, he asked that people see that and have a little compassion. I say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Martina, you helped break up the marriage of one of your girlfriends and then got involved in a nasty palimony suit with said girlfriend. Who are you to call anyone out? (Don’t mess with my Andre, people.)

I’m sure there are people who disagree with my stance on this and will continue to criticize him for what he did. But I admire Andre Agassi, far more for what he has done off of the court than on it.
Image courtesy of Amazon.com.

9 comments:

Haven and Home said...

I appreciate his honesty, everyone makes mistakes but it is what you do about them that matters. Very interesting post!

QueenBeeSwain said...

I can't wait to read this book!

kHm

Beth Dunn said...

I've always admired him and I agree with you on the casting stones--don't do it! xoxo

SC

TWA said...

Great post I have been looking forward to reading this book. He made the choice to come out and talk about this and that is what I admire, and you know what look he was on crystal meth and was still THAT GOOD. Im just glad he is now in a happy marriage with beautiful children, good for him.

EntertainingMom said...

Admittedly liked him better once he got rid of the Mane! One of my college bffs had the HUGEST crush on him and I always teased her. I always called him AGROSSI!!!! (LOL) I thought he and Brooke were terribly mis-matched...

Ange said...

It is important for our role models to be real people ... just as he is. How can you lead or help the people if you are not humble enought to admit your times of weakness. This is where compassion is born in an individual. Fabulous man! Good on you for supporting him.

Cathi said...

I agree with you, we all have made mistakes in life - imagine making them in such a public way. But to finally be honest and speak openly about it is very refreshing!

I think the mistake we make as the public is holding these celebrities on a pedestal...we are all the same - we have the same problems, insecurities, make the same mistakes - they just have a different job than we do. It's important to remember that. Wonderful post, I can't wait to read the book!

Penélope Sierra said...

Me encanta la mirada, el color de su piel, es una muy buena foto!

prashant said...

I can't wait to read this book!
Work from home India