Let’s talk mensches. Or menschen if you want to be origin-correct with the Yiddish plural of mensch.
Specifically, Rafael Nadal. The 22-major-winning professional tennis player continued to show his menschiness when he left the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London after withdrawing from the tournament as a semifinalist.
Nursing a reported seven-millimeter torn abdominal tear, fans like yours truly were bummed not to see him have a chance to advance to the Wimbledon final and make more tennis history. What we got, however, were visuals of him walking through the club, thanking tournament staff and posing for selfies before he left.
Add this to his PR points total? Yes. Were public relations the reason for it? Unlikely. Nadal is a fierce competitor but reportedly, fiercely loyal and kind. A friend who also works in PR said when I shared the video of him greeting people in the clubhouse, “how one treats the ‘little people’ is an indicator of his/her humanity.”
Nadal is a longtime professional who hurt physically and likely, emotionally, after he gutted out a quarterfinal win mid-week and wouldn’t be blamed if he silently slipped out of sight until he’s able to play again. But he shared a few special moments and made “little people” feel special. Menschiness.
Vamos, Rafa! Heal quickly and see you again, soon.
©Gail Sideman; publicity, 2022