July 22, 2015 |
At Freedoms matches, team owner Billie Jean King regularly watches from the far edge of the home team's bench. On Monday night, a pioneer of women's sports was joined by Mo'ne Davis, in her own way an emerging pioneer. King broke onto the tennis scene in 1959, competing in the U.S. Open at age 15. Davis was thrust into the spotlight last summer playing for Philadelphia's Taney Dragons in the Little League World Series. "At my age usually you just hang out with friends and just play sports," said Davis, now 14. "You usually don't become a role model at such a young age. " Davis' most recent romp in the spotlight included winning the ESPY for best breakout athlete last week in Los Angeles.
July 18, 2015 |
The Freedoms turned back the clock to the 1970s for their home opener Thursday night against the Boston Lobsters, marking the 40th season of World Team Tennis play. To celebrate the psychedelic '70s, fans received tickets with a retro design and were serenaded by songs from the decade between points during Boston's 21-17 win at Villanova's Pavilion. Freedoms owner and tennis legend Billie Jean King even busted a move when "Disco Inferno" came over the loudspeakers. World Team Tennis got its start in 1974 when King brought the decade's wave of gender-equality activism to her sport.
July 16, 2015 |
CoCo Vandeweghe got a wake-up call - and responded to it. In February 2014, the tennis player, who is the niece of former Knicks star Kiki Vandeweghe, was at a qualifying tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, warming up to take on Risa Ozaki of Japan, then ranked No. 171, in the round of 32. The match should have been an easy win, as Vandeweghe outranked her opponent by 60 spots at the time by World Tennis Association standards. But two hours later, Vandeweghe found herself walking off the clay courts to pack her bags - she lost in three sets.
July 8, 2015 |
A vocal duo's flawless a cappella rendition of "Over the Rainbow" hushed the crowd outside Independence Hall as the reenactment of a pioneering LGBT civil rights demonstration began. Several dozen people marched along Chestnut Street holding placards ("Equality for Homosexual Citizens") that replicated those carried by a plucky group of gay men and lesbians a half-century earlier. It was an emotional, and pitch-perfect, way to celebrate the Fourth of July - and the fact that marriage equality is at last the law of the land.
June 9, 2015 |
She was known variously as Alice, Alice of Dunk's Ferry, Black Alice, or Old Alice. She was a slave who lived at least 108 years - some say 116 - and saw three centuries. She never learned how to read or write, and never gained her freedom, but her head was filled with priceless memories. Alice could tell a story like no one else - whether it was about meeting William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania; witnessing the early days of Philadelphia; or navigating boats between Dunk's Ferry - now Beverly - and what is now Bensalem.
May 3, 2015 |
Now-aging firebrands who endured fear and pain to desegregate Girard College 50 years ago walked smiling past its imposing stone walls Friday. They were greeted on the steps of Founder's Hall by red-blazered students - mostly minorities - who applauded, then sang for the 10 so-called freedom fighters, whose efforts opened the school for the very kids who were honoring them. "We are your legacy," senior Brandon Dixon, a national scholarship winner bound for Harvard, told the one-time demonstrators, one of whom cried openly.
May 1, 2015 |
The question of whether Msgr. William J. Lynn may remain on house arrest or must return to prison to complete his three- to six-year term for child endangerment will be heard Thursday by a Philadelphia judge. The hearing was set by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina after the District Attorney's Office moved to have the Catholic cleric's bail revoked when the state Supreme Court reinstated Lynn's conviction Monday. Lynn, 64, was convicted following a landmark 13-week trial in 2012 involving his role supervising priests accused of sexually abusing children.
April 4, 2015 |
It didn't take long for the uproar over religious-freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas to reverberate in Pennsylvania. Democrats, including Gov. Wolf, grabbed onto the controversy this week to bolster their bid for a state ban on discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The proposal would make it illegal for businesses to fire workers or deny customers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. It would also offer protections beyond antidiscrimination measures already passed by more than 30 municipalities, including Philadelphia, Haverford, Abington, and New Hope.
April 2, 2015 |
TO GIVE YOU an idea of how influential sports have become in this nation's fractionalized and petty political discourse, just look at the timeline since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 101 into law last Thursday. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay, condemned the law, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The CEO of Salesforce, the billion-dollar tech company, did as well, Marc Benioff saying he would halt plans to expand into the state. Angie's List announced it, too, was canceling a $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters, a move that was to add 1,000 jobs.
March 26, 2015 |
DURING HIS first moments as a free man in nearly 45 years, Clarence Safwat Davis was thinking about groceries. Specifically, about whether his family needed to pick up bread and milk on the drive home to Tioga from the state correctional institution at Graterford. "It's something that's part of our normal flow as a family, something we always do and ask about," Davis, 64, said the other day, a few weeks after that January night. "I didn't want to miss that step. I really just wanted to pick up where we had left off. " But his first thought, even before pantry staples, was how surreal it felt to be able to do whatever he wanted for the first time since he was 20 years old. "I hoped that no one would come along and pinch me and wake me up from this dream," he said.