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Through triumph and tragedy, even in national controversy, Vivian says her proudest legacy is the hundreds of young women she has helped become champions on and off the court. So the racial comments Don Imus made about the team during their NCAA Tournament run came as a shock. "I was hurt. I just wanted to fight," Vivian says. "After I cried and hit the wall a lot, then I sought to find out how I can do this because I knew that I would be the mom, I would be the mentor. I would be the person that would stand up for my young women."

When the team finally met with Don Imus, Vivian said the mood was very serious and each woman told him how they were personally affected by the situation. Vivian says the meeting brought the team a sense of closure. "We can't really affect the circumstances on what does happen to us, but we can affect how we respond to it," she says. "And I thought that it was important for us to be able to forgive and to move on. Because if we devolve with it, you can imagine the anger and hurt that you continue to have."
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FROM: Sports Legends Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Vivian Stringer
Published on December 01, 2008

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