A former Olympic table tennis star caused a racket at the national competition earlier this month when she berated her daughter’s Orthodox Jewish doubles partner.
Fei Ming Tong, who finished ninth at the 2000 Olympics representing Taiwan, reportedly called 20-year-old ping pong prodigy Estee Ackerman “ugly” and “shit” in the United States. National table tennis championships.
She also allegedly dropped F-bombs and said Ackerman’s conservative dress style was “unprofessional” and “disgusting,” Ackerman’s father told the New York Post, before removing his daughter, Lucy Chen, from the competition and leave Ackerman without a partner.
The altercation left Ackerman in tears, she said.
“It was discrimination,” Glenn Ackerman said, noting that Tong and his daughter, as well as the Ackermans, live on Long Island — and Tong even once trained his daughter knowing she was Jewish.
It’s still unclear what led to the confrontation, and the Ackermans insist her outfit didn’t hinder her performance at the nationals and she even won silver in the hardbat competition, which is played with an old school paddle.
USA Table Tennis is currently investigating the incident, CEO Virginia Sung told The Post, but could not comment on the matter.
Fei Ming Tong, a former table tennis star from Taiwan, reportedly berated his daughter’s Orthodox Jewish doubles partner at the US national table tennis championships earlier this month.
Estee Ackerman, a 20-year-old ping pong prodigy, wears shirts with shooting sleeves covering her elbows as well as skirts and leggings whenever she competes, in accordance with her religion
Ackerman, now a senior at Stern College for Women in New York, has been playing table tennis since she was just 8 at the insistence of her father, who taught his two children to play hoping it would would help develop their hand-eye coordination. , according to the Long Island Herald.
At the age of 11, she beat tennis star Rafael Nadal in the match, and in 2016 she tried her hand at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
She won multiple gold medals at the US National Table Tennis Championships, but was forced to miss the 2020 Olympic Trials because part of the tournament would require her to play on the Jewish Sabbath, which takes place sunset on Friday. at sunset on Saturday.
Following the altercation, Tong reportedly withdrew her daughter, Lucy Chen (right) from the doubles tournament, leaving Ackerman without a partner.
Ackerman has been playing ping-pong since she was just 8, and her father said Tong even coached Ackerman knowing she was Jewish.
She tried out for the Olympics and once even beat tennis pro Rafael Nadal in a match
In all of his competitions, his father said, Ackerman wears shirts with shooting sleeves covering his elbows as well as skirts and leggings.
She wore one of these outfits during the national competition earlier this month, her father said, when the only dress requirement was that participants do not wear white as it would hit the ball.
“It’s not like my dress is a barrier to my level of competition,” Ackerman told the Post. “That’s definitely not the case.”
In fact, after Tong pulled her daughter out of competition, Ackerman was able to compete in other events – and she saw her overall score improve during the competition.
Tong, meanwhile, told the New York Post that she was unaware of any issues between her and Ackerman.
She said Ackerman was one of her “best and favorite” students and wished her “all the best for her great future.”