Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Navratilova wants her Czech citizenship back

When Martina Navratilova defected from what used to be Czechoslavakia in 1975, she did so at great risk. She knew she might not ever see her family again, and that other Czech athletes might turn against her. They did, especially Helena Sukova, whose mother--Navratilova's former coach--was punished by the government for her protege's defection. Hana Mandikova also turned against Navratilova. Eventually, however, both players apologized to her and became friends with her again.

In her autobiography, Navratilova talked about how difficult defection was. For a long time, every time she went to a restaurant or some other public place and saw men in suits walking toward her, she assumed they had come to haul her out and send her back to Communist Czechoslavakia.

A few years ago, I saw Navratilova on television getting bashed by Connie Chung, who accused her of sounding "unpatriotic" because she expressed displeasure with the fascist leanings of the Bush government. During that interview, Navratilova said she had given up her dream of adopting a child because she thought that the bigotry against gay mothers was so strong.

Now Navratilova says she has had enough and is seeking to regain her Czech citizenship. Navratilova says she ashamed of the United States because of the Bush administration. One hopes she is just as ashamed of the news media, members of Congress, and the voters who put them in office.

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