After Sloane Stephens won the women's U.S. Open tennis title over the weekend, a reporter's silly question opened the door for the newly crowned champ to give a ringing endorsement for capitalism.
A reporter actually asked the 24-year-old Stephens — whose victory Saturday earned her $3.7 million — if winning her first Grand Slam title gave her a "hunger" to do it again.
That was pretty much Stephens' reaction to the painfully leading news-conference question — but her answer told the bold truth.
“Of course, girl! Did you see that check that that lady handed me?" she replied in near disbelief at the query as the room burst out in laughter. "Like, yes! Man, if that doesn't make you want to play tennis, I don’t know what will. Man. So, yes, definitely."
Want proof? Here's a look at Stephens after getting the check:
There's some great @SloaneStephens photos out there but her reaction to being handed a check for $3.7 million takes… https://t.co/S0QmTmWHWh— Arash Markazi (@Arash Markazi) 1505003414.0
And then Stephens got an even sillier question: A reporter asked Stephens if she felt "bad" for her opponent Madison Keys, whom Stephens bested in lopsided fashion (6-0, 6-3).
But the champ replied to the question — seemingly couched in socialistic, everybody-gets-a-trophy values — with a refreshing dose of good ol' American touchstones of fair play, hard work and competition.
"Feel bad for her?" she answered with incredulity. "She was in the finals, too. What do you mean? Did you see the check she's about to get?"
More laughter from the press corps. "I'm sure she'll be just fine," Stephens concluded.
Check out the Q&A clip. (And notice that ESPN also seems unable — or unwilling — to entertain the notion that a professional athlete isn't motivated by earnings, titling the video "Sloane Stephens jokes that $3.7 million check inspires her to keep playing." Jokes? Really?)
A further take
The disparity between the reporters' questions and Stephens' reactions couldn't be more strikingly evident.
The first reporter's question assumed that winning somehow doesn't inspire a desire to keep doing well, as if people are do-nothing lumps with no determination or will to succeed (i.e., socialism). Stephens knocked back that assumption — and added that monetary rewards are a tremendous incentive for success.
The second reporter's question was worse, reflecting the growing socialistic sentiment out there that successful people who've been financially rewarded for their efforts should feel "bad" about that. Hogwash, Stephens said. Her opponent "was in the finals, too" and had the same opportunity to win.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)