Uh-oh, Frank Anthony Davis: Don’t mess with Texas! Update: Davis responds
A pickleball pro gets political.

January 25, 2021

Frank Anthony Davis, the #5 male singles pickleball player in the world, took a little jab at Texans last week:

An “equality shirt” (in case you are wondering) can be seen in this photo taken at the Punta Gorda Open earlier this month. Davis is wearing the shirt on the right.

Not sure what the big deal is. What do y’all think? Harmless fun or should Texans be a wee bit insulted by the suggestion that they’re, well, bloodthirsty, anti-equality maniacs LOL!? We reached out to Davis to get more thoughts from him, but haven’t heard back yet. It should be noted that Texas is a big pickleball state. As we reported earlier this month, construction of the Pickleball Hall of Fame — part of a massive pickleball complexis underway in the state’s capital, Austin. The state is scheduled to host at least 16 pickleball tournaments in 2021. Maybe it’s just us, but we’re pretty sure that everyone who participates — whatever shirts or hats or socks they wear — will be safe!

Update (January 25): Davis responded to our request for comment. He said he loves Texas and explained why he wears an equality t-shirt. Here’s an excerpt from his email:

I am happy to give you some of my thoughts and background on what prompted the tweet…

First of all, I love Texas. I travel heavily and Texas is always one of my favorite states to visit. Whether it’s Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Austin there are always great food choices and a well-designed infrastructure. 

My tweet was actually prompted because someone actually stopped me in public and said “You know better than to wear that kind of shirt around here.” I was a little surprised but laughed it off as he walked away. The truth is, I didn’t even realize that I was wearing one of my equality shirts. It’s part of my regular rotation and since I had been on the road a while I was just pulling a shirt out of my suitcase. I think being that I was wearing the shirt at such a politically charged time (right around inauguration day) made it feel like I was making a very strong political statement. I just thought it was a funny little tweet because I so rarely have anyone approach me negatively. 🙂

I have been wearing some form of an equality shirt since 2015 or so. For me, it’s not a political statement and I am not a politically-minded person. That’s what is so great about the simple word equality. It is just a simple positive reminder to treat all people equally. I grew up in an area where I wasn’t exposed to a lot of diversity. Once, I went through high school and college I was exposed to more diversity and met a ton of amazing people. I noticed that the people who grew up around me had trouble knowing how to handle that diversity. Not because they were mean people but because they were different then what they had been exposed to their entire lives. So I wear equality with that intent in mind. To remind myself and other people to make a conscious effort to treat all people equally.

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Rhode Island Jim
1 year ago

Reasonable response. Tough to tell if the person issuing the warning to him was upset by the shirt themselves or if they were trying to stir up trouble by inferring that people in that area would be upset by the shirt. I find people stirring up trouble is a lot more common than people actually causing trouble.