Ex-Wimbledon champion claims she was denied club membership due to antisemitism
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Ex-Wimbledon champion claims she was denied club membership due to antisemitism

Angela Buxton, who won at Wimbledon in 1956, claims she was denied membership of the All England Club due to antisemitism

Angela Buxton (Credit: YouTube)
Angela Buxton (Credit: YouTube)

A tennis champion who won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon 63 years ago claims a club refused to accept her because she is Jewish.

Angela Buxton, who won at Wimbledon in 1956 with her American partner Althea Gibson, said she applied shortly after her win to join the All England Club, to which she had expected to be accepted due to her status as a top player.

Buxton told The Sunday Times that she believes antisemitism was the reason she was never accepted though she has continued to wait and reapply.

“It’s an unfortunate example of how the British really treat Jews in this country,” she told the newspaper. “This sort of thing exacerbates the feeling towards Jews. It’s perfectly ridiculous, it’s laughable. It speaks volumes.”

The club disagreed with Buxton’s characterization. “While the decision-making process for membership of the All England Club is a private matter, we strongly refute any suggestion that race or religion plays a factor,” a statement from the club said, according to The Daily Mail.

Buxton also said that she had experienced antisemitism during her career.

Author Bruce Schoenfeld in his book “The Match: How Two Outsiders — One Black, the Other Jewish — Forged a Friendship and Made Sports History” reported that Simon Marks, the Jewish owner of the department store Marks & Spencer, allowed her to practice on his private tennis court.

As a teenager, Buxton applied to join the Cumberland Club, the top tennis facility in North London. Coach Bill Blake reportedly rejected Buxton, saying: “You’re perfectly good, but you’re Jewish. We don’t take Jews here.”

 

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