Serena Williams: ‘It blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women’

US Open 2018 Women's Finals *** NO NY NEWSPAPERS***

I’m still thinking about the US Open women’s final and the massive controversy still reverberating throughout the tennis world. I’ve worked it out – the issue with Serena Williams and Carlos Ramos is the “Permit Patty” of the tennis world. It was written on the biggest tennis stage in the world, for everyone to see. Technically, Umpire Carlos Ramos was simply “enforcing the rules,” going with the very letter of violation-law in place for Grand Slams. But what happened to Serena was about a lot more than one player violating the “sacred” code of conduct and one umpire deciding to enforce the rules. It was about race and sex, it was about how a black woman was “policed” more than any man would have been, and it was about the UNWRITTEN rule that the umpire shouldn’t be the centerpiece of a Grand Slam final. In a final, the umpire is supposed to give more leeway. In a final, the umpire has more discretion to give a “soft warning,” to de-escalate situations with players.

Incidentally, this is the same tournament where, in an early round, an umpire left his chair to literally give a male player a pep talk, which was absolutely on-court coaching. This is the same tournament where the USTA has been making rules up on the fly about which players can leave the court in the heat and which players can’t. I’ve been watching so much of the tournament, and let me tell you something else – so many players, male and female, get coached from their boxes. Besides the coaching issue, the thing that sticks out to me still is that… calling someone a “thief” and a “liar” should not be a violation, especially in a Slam final. Serena was upset. She lost her temper. Carlos Ramos could have easily talked to her, and given her a soft warning (with no penalty) and told her that if she didn’t calm down, he would give her another violation. He didn’t do that. And some people even thought Carlos Ramos was baiting her or goading her:

So how did Serena feel after the match? She came to her post-match press conference like a professional and fielded inane questions about “what she would tell her daughter” about what happened. Stick around for the end:

Serena spoke about her history at this specific tournament, the US Open, where in 2004, she was the victim of such horrible line calls that every Slam from then on instituted the hawkeye and challenge system. She also referenced the 2009 US Open, where she was defaulted from the semifinal when she got a (bulls–t) foot fault and lost her temper. But the moment of grace and emotion came at the end when Serena was asked, “If you could change one thing about what occurred, what would that be?” Her answer:

“I don’t know. You definitely can’t go back in time. I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’.

For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal — like Cornet should be able to take off her shirt without getting a fine. This is outrageous. I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that want to express themselves, and want to be a strong woman. They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.

[Via The US Open]

That’s it in a nutshell – as Jon Wertheim pointed out on Twitter, “The word for the day is ‘precedent.’… We’re now docking players for calling the chair ‘thief’ and ‘liar’? …well, interesting days lie ahead….” That’s exactly it. The next time a player argues a call – a bad call or a justified call – with an umpire and says something like “you’re wrong” or “you’re lying,” will that be a “verbal abuse” violation too? Or will it only be a violation if a black woman says it?

US Open 2018 Women's Finals *** NO NY NEWSPAPERS***

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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158 Responses to “Serena Williams: ‘It blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women’”

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  1. Reese says:

    Do you watch tennis? The crowd was booing Carlos and the bad decision.

  2. May says:

    No. Serena called him a liar, a thief AND threatened his career. I’m not a tennis fan, but I do follow a lot of sports, and in any of them this would be considered abuse and would have consequences. You just don’t behave like a brat in the court, if you feel you have been wronged, then you file an official complaint after the match.

    The sad thing is that Osaka won fair and square, and she made the history of tennis. She is the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam. That’s huge, the achievement of a career, really. She’s a woman too, and deserves as much respect as Serena does. Instead, her historical accomplishment is being overshadowed by a temper tantrum.

    • LooseSeal says:

      You’re clearly not a tennis fan, because players act like a “brat” on the court all the time. Serena gets penalized at a higher rate than other players for it. Also, Serena said as much as you did about Naomi Osaka. Serena is a class act.

      • frank drebin says:

        hahaha class act

      • Aloe Vera says:

        In this lies the problem. I agree that other players behave like d**ks (and yes Serena that’s what you acted like in this match) and need to be penalised within the rules for their behaviour. Yes it’s sad that Serena got penalised for breaking the rules when others don’t…however, don’t break the rules if you don’t want to risk being penalised. It’s time to clean up these tennis rules and start applying them consistently. I don’t want to see any rackets being thrown or umpires being called a liar and thief.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Either way, Serena got fecking hosed.

    • Reese says:

      You don’t watch tennis, follow tennis thereby your comments are meaningless.
      Men have said far worse to the umps. That’s the point you are missing.
      Serena didn’t behave like a brat. She behaved like a rational women who was accused of cheating. She was accused of cheating to win. Becoming emotional doesn’t mean she was irrational, a brat, throwing a temper trantrum. It means she was upset. An emotion that fit the situation

      • Becks1 says:

        I don’t follow tennis beyond the highlights and this blog (lol), but that was my take as well. the issue isn’t Serena’s behavior. Its how Serena’s behavior compares to male players and the subsequent penalties.

      • Catherine says:

        Yes, Reece. Correct. THE UMPIRE WAS OUTRAGEOUS. There’s a lengthy op-ed in Washington Post that breaks the situation down perfectly.

      • Birdix says:

        I don’t follow tennis, but it angers me that Serena has to be the greatest of all time in all things. Just because she’s a phenomenal tennis player doesn’t mean she has to be the perfect deliverer of her message at all times. She was furious, understandably so, and railing against a seemingly small thing that was emblematic of all of the smaller things that together have been a huge obstacle that she has through talent, force of will, and persistence overcome. How many times in your life have you wanted to call out something that’s blatantly unfair (racist, sexist, etc) but not had the power, position, or platform to do so? I don’t care if people didn’t like how she said it, I’m just glad she did.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Beautifully said, Birdix! Thanks. Wish I’d said it half as well.

    • JoJo says:

      Agassi called an umpire a Son of a B**th he wasn’t docked a game,McEnroe has cursed out multiple umpires.There are many of examples of male players calling them far worse than a thief and a liar.
      NVM boys will be boys

    • Lukie says:

      You don’t follow tennis or you would know the men have said much worse and are NEVER docked a game.

      Also, she isn’t the first Japanese player. She is the first Haitian and Japanese player. Don’t take that away from Naomi and especially her Haitian father that was her first coach.

      • Missy says:

        Naomi Osaka plays for Japan. Yes, her ethnicity is Haitian-Japanese, but she represents Japan. Similarly, Serena is an American player in that she plays for the USA.

        So, yes, Naomi is the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam.

    • hindulovegod says:

      Nadal had a similar altercation with the same umpire at the French. Rafa also threatened him. Guess what penalty he didn’t get? The question is why are the rules only in effect for women or players or color. I’ve been wondering this about Shapovalov since his incident. He hit a ball in anger. It hit an umpire in the face and the resulting injury required surgery. The hot takes were that it was a momentary lapse in judgement and shouldn’t ruin his career. And it hasn’t. You rarely hear about it. Now imagine if Kyrgios had done it. Rules aren’t rules unless they apply to everyone.

    • Wilma says:

      I know absolutely nothing about tennis, its rules or its history or the way players normally behave (with the exeption of McEnroe) but the news outlets I’ve been reading all call it sexist and a lot players seem to rally behind Serena.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I am fed up with Serena’s behaviour when things don’t go her way and with our covering it up.
      We are all so routing for her that when she is behaving badly we give her a pass on that too and it isn’t helping her.
      Part of playing sport is knowing you won’t always win. Serena isn’t a great loser. Her lack of grace is unfortunate. We have absolutely seen this side of her behaviour before.
      She is a world beater but she knows the rules. I now think her fame and level of achievement makes her believe she is above tennis.
      McEnroe also had a game penalty for acting the ass. It wasn’t given to him because he was a man but because his temper got the better of him.
      I thought Serena was dreadful today and I thought it was because in the wrong circumstances she acts like the worst entitled type.
      Apologise for what you said. You’ll never Umpire another game for me again. So she can threaten his livelihood and we are cool with that? Not to mention how she made her losing seem like it had nothing to do with anyone else beating her bit everything to do with ‘the system’
      Serena uses her power to get what she wants when it suits her and I can understand her confusion when she doesn’t get her own way. Today wasn’t an example of racism or sexism imo. It was an example of someone who has lost their temper and didn’t believe anyone would dare…well they did. This is down to the actions of her coach and her….and of us for always overlooking the downside

    • entine says:

      I like her, even more these last 2 years, but what she did, she could have controlled herself a bit, she is, after all, a professional player. Referees need a lesson, but they hold the power in court, make it official after the game, make a big stint about it. Even with all things on her side, the way things escalated were detrimental, and I am sad to see Naomi’s win tainted, hugs and all that. I wish her (and Serena , even when she does not need to demonstrate anything to anyone anymore) many more wins.

    • Apalapa says:

      I believe Nadal told the same ump that he would never work again, or this is your last game and nothing happened. So, try again with your “this was abuse.” When people apply rules at a whim, this kind of thing happens.

      Giving Serena’s opponent a game in a GRAND SLAM final is like giving a points in game 7 of an NBA final or a point to a team in super bowl. Should not happen.

  3. Reese says:

    Serena is a true champion.
    She showed class on that podium when she gave comfort to Osaka and wanted her to have a positive moment.

    • Frida_K says:

      And this statement made me cry: “Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

      Serena is a champion, and not just on the tennis court.

  4. Melomelo says:

    Saying ‘you’re wrong’ is not the same as ‘you’re a liar and a thief’.

    Idk about tennis in specific, but in every other sport it would constitute a fault or warning.

    • Reese says:

      If you have no idea about tennis, don’t follow tennis, not a tennis fan then why would you comment?
      The argument isn’t that she didn’t call him a thief, the point is the double standard that is placed on female tennis players to behave in a way that men get away with. It’s a double standard.

      • Kaiser says:

        Thank you Reese for doing the lord’s work in these comment threads.

      • Melomelo says:

        ‘The next time a player argues a call – a bad call or a justified call – with an umpire and says something like “you’re wrong” or “you’re lying,” will that be a “verbal abuse” violation too? Or will it only be a violation if a black woman says it?’

        ^I’m replying this part in specific

        I do not doubt theres racism and sexism in the sport, that said looking up the umpire I dont think that was the case this time. But then again, I’m not a hardcore follower of tennis so I guess my opinion is s**t.

      • Medusa says:

        Can’t it be both though, Reese? That Serena was at fault AND there is a double standard that needs to be addressed? By saying it was unfair that Serena was reprimanded because someone else might have gotten away with the same behavior is a form of whataboutisme. No, Serena was still at fault and everyone who behaves this way should get reprimanded the same way.

        Also, dismissing an opinion just because Melomelo isn’t really into tennis is short-sighted. Melomelo isn’t talking about anything technical where knowledge of the game is required. Melomelo is simple stating an opinion about sportsmanship and that opinion is just as valid as yours.

    • Catherine says:

      Agassi called an ump a “son of a bitch” without consequences in us open grand slam. See the difference?

      • May says:

        Agassi received a $3000 fine for that, and it was 28 years ago. Our sensibilities have thankfully changed since then and we should all be held to higher standards.

      • Alissa says:

        people keep talking about Agassi and McEnroe – if you have to go back 20-30 years for your examples, they probably wouldn’t fly today either.

      • Sarah says:

        Did he say it to Carlos Ramos? If not, then your point is moot.

      • Catherine says:

        1. Nadal multiple altercations with Ramos at French 2017- no points or games taken. Requested Ramos removed from tournament. Again, no points, games taken
        2. Kyrgios – screaming at Ramos at AO 2018 over a foot fault no penalties, or points taken
        3. Andy Murray shouting “stupid umpiring” at Ramos, no points or games taken
        4. Novak gets into 4 screaming altercations with Ramos at Wimbledon 2018: no points or games taken

        #recipets

      • Diana B says:

        @Catherine: THANK YOU!

      • Reese says:

        @catherine I think there should be a #boom #micdrop after your #receipts

      • elvie says:

        Catherine with the receipts! Thank you!

    • zozigr says:

      As you said melomelo (greek name) better not say a word. Im 40 years umpire and from 2004 olympic games umpire. With my experience Ramos was totaly wrong.Ramos made himself the chief player, he is not! He did something to Nadal recently, and Nadal told him he would see to it that Ramos never refereed one of his matches again. The most important job of all for an umpire is to respect the ephemeral nature of the competitors and the contest. He didnt!

      • Medusa says:

        Melomelo can say what she wants. You can disagree with her and with your experience you might even be right but that doesn’t mean she may not express her opinion.

      • InquisitiveNewt says:

        @Medusa melomelo may have an opinion, but opinions are like ar$eholes: everyone’s got one. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong. Said opinion should not be autorespected/be free from censure. Particularly when an individual acknowledges they know nothing of the subject at hand.

      • Melomelo says:

        @INQUISITIVENEWT whats with the comment policing? Were in a gossip website, not a sports one..? Obviously not everyone here is a tennis expert, doesnt mean we cant comment.

        And either way, I only commented how saying ‘you’re wrong’ is different from ‘you’re a thief’, referencing a small part of the post. You’re wrong expresses a disagreement, while you’re a thief may come off as an attack to the umpires integrity, which many umpires and referees may take offense to and might give warnings/faults/ejections, specially if the attacks are constant, it all depends in the referee and the situation.

        I never even said he should have ducked her a game, or however you tennis experts write that.

        Jesus.

    • Jamie says:

      You don’t know much about other sports either because there are legions of players in baseball and football who argue calls all the time with comments far more pointed and profane than what Serena said and those men don’t suffer any consequences.

      • Melomelo says:

        Plenty of boxers, baseball, football, and basketball players get technicals, fined or ejected if they persist abusing or make a comment about the umpires integrity.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Was Serena right in reacting the way she did? Probably not. With her experience, she should have recognized his power show for what it was, a stupid distraction. She had a far more formidable opponent on the other side of the net and should have channeled her rage in that direction.

      Having said that, Ramos clearly inserted himself into the game and was hell bent on displaying his power/influence on the outcome. Now, we will never know if Osaka would have stumbled at the sight of the finishing line, or if Serena would have pulled off one of her trade mark turn arounds.

      Either way, it was a riveting spectacle to watch and I’m glad Serena is not a robot (for better or worse). The real tragedy would have been to have a colourless, eventless, dry game that nobody remembered.

      When all is said and done, Osaka’s name is now forever etched in history as one third of one of the most riveting, controversial games in recent history.

      Mazel tov.

  5. Lightpurple says:

    Naomi Osaka is pointing out that she is Haitian-Japanese.

    ETA and she played a fantastic match, deserved the win, and has a great future ahead of her.

  6. Rescue Cat says:

    Storm in a teacup.

  7. Rapunzel says:

    There’s a lot of systemic racism and sexism going on here with this ref. And the USTA and WTF in particular. It’s understandable that Serena lost her cool.

    However it was a very bad move. Serena’s behavior was never going to change anything. It was only going to muddy the waters and make her look bad. Playing into the angry black woman stereotype by getting so riled up is only going to make things worse for her. Acting like that on the court was not the way to make a case against what’s happening to her.

    If he was baiting her, she should never have taken the bait.

    On another note, she needs to fire Patrick immediately. He should never have admitted coaching her. Two wrongs don’t make a right; it’s a logical fallacy to say otherwise. And his admission of coaching is only setting Serena up to get picked on in the future. Now refs will be looking for it to give her a violation.

    • LooseSeal says:

      I appreciate the acknowledgement of the systemic sexism and racism, but I feel like the rest of the comment places the onus on Serena. All players play with passion. It’s part of what gets them to the highest level. However, Serena is held to a much different standard on expressing that passion. She shouldn’t have to dial that back on the court unless everyone needs to dial that back on the court. And that’s the point. Nobody else is asked to in the same way.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Looseseal- As I said, I totally understand why Serena acted like this. And I absolutely positively get what you’re saying. And you’re right. It’s not fair. I never said it was. I was just pointing out that this is the way to go about fixing the system.

      • Clare says:

        Looseseal, the thing is, the onus for our behaviour should always be on ourselves. Yes Rapunzil places the onus for her meltdown on Serena – of course she does – who else should be responsible for her behaviour?

        Obviously hold the ref accountable for HIS part in this mess, but no one but Serena is responsible for her coach cheating, the racket breaking, and the berating of the referee. She didn’t make one isolated comment, you know, she berated him repeatedly (perhaps rightfully?), including threatening his career. No one else but Serena is responsible for that.

        I know professional athletes are driven by their passion, but also self control and discipline. Sadly Serena lost control yesterday, and behaved badly. She may be the GOAT, but she is also human. She made a mistake. She snapped. She was out of line. She was unprofessional. Why can’t we acknowledge that?

        She is better than this, and I hate that this will now forever be a part of her legacy.

        And also, how fucking sad for Osaka, who played such brilliant tennis.

    • Caty says:

      “Playing into the angry black woman stereotype by getting so riled up is only going to make things worse for her.”

      It is frustrating that we need to comport ourselves around stereotypes. It is yet another burden placed on women of color that sets the bar for our behavior higher.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Agreed 1,000%.

        Anyone and absolutely everyone, would react at some point of you’ve faced the level of undue criticism and racist/sexist taunting that Serena had faced throughout the lenght of her career.

        For me, I’m just delighted that she keeps pushing the boundaries of expectation, regardless of what the world thinks she should be doing.

    • Jamie says:

      “Playing into the angry black woman stereotype”

      The problem is with the stereotype. It’s racist and sexist to require black women to deny HUMAN feelings and reactions to comply with white people’s idea of how black women should act.

      Check yourself. Don’t put it on Serena.

  8. Liniag says:

    Ramos is known for being a strict umpire. He’s definitely given warnings and docked points from big names on the men’s side as well. Didn’t Nadal threaten to get him off umping his matches?

    Every time Serena faces adversity her stans chalk it up to racism and sexism. 90% of the time? That’s definitely it. This time though it was all on her and her behaving badly.

    • Reese says:

      Every time Serena faces adversity her Stans scream racism?
      If you can look at Serena’s tennis career and say she has never been subjected to racism then what rose coloured glasses have you watched the past 20 years of her career go by in?
      There isn’t a female tennis player that has faced more adversity than Serena.
      Sexism applies in this case simply because of the double standards in tennis. Men get away with the behaviour in the match that Serena exhibited. If Nadal did the same thing would the results been the same? That’s the point. Unfortunately, male tennis players have never been punished in the same way as Serena was yesterday “cough” “cough” “sexism” so we can’t compare.

      • Sarah says:

        “Men get away with the behaviour in the match that Serena exhibited.”

        Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. I’ve certainly never heard a male player call an umpire a thief – that’s a Serena Original.

    • Catherine says:

      Rafa verbally challenged this same ump in the French 2 years ago to give him violations. RAFA RECIEVES NONE. Novak threw a fit, took his shirt off, and refused to get out of his seat out of anger during QF of this tournament WITHOUT VIOLATION.

      • lisanne says:

        I watched the men’s quarter final, and that is not what happened with Novak Djokovic at all. His opponent (Millman) was sweating so much that he was dripping on the court. He was completely soaked. Millman requested a break to change his clothes. He asked if Djokovic would assent to that, who said said sure, why not. So both players got a break, Milman to change his clothes, and Djokovic to sit and and rest. Djokovic did not need to throw a fit – he got a free break and he was very pleased with himself sitting there with his shirt off. Probably saved the match for him – the heat was really getting to him.

  9. Alexandra McCabe says:

    OMG. Her closing statement is incredible. watched twice. Boo’d each time (boo as in little weep not booing!)

  10. Tiera Barron says:

    This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I am going to give it.

    Every black girl who played tennis growing up, present company included, looks up to Serena Williams. She is a force unlike any other. Her power and dominance are simply marvelous.

    However, today, Serena was wrong.

    1. The Coaching Violation. I don’t buy the “she might not have even seen him” argument. If she didn’t see him, how did she know that the “thumbs up” is what was in question? While Serena argues that he was simply giving her the ‘thumbs up’ sign, anyone with two eyes can see that he was coaching her; moreover, he explicitly admitted that he was coaching her in a post-match interview. He even doubled down and stated that he does so on every point, as most other coaches do. This guy has been Serena’s coach for YEARS…do you mean to tell me that for all of the time that she has been with this guy, she is unaware that he has been coaching every point for each of her matches? Of course she isn’t. Which makes her denial of this allegation insulting. She knew that he was coaching. Invoking her daughter in the “I never cheat” argument was completely unnecessary. Her coach also argued that “all of the other coaches do it,” then he proceeded to name check them (which was just rude lol). “Everybody else is doing it too” is not a reason to be complicit in something that is known to be wrong. If you decide to jaywalk and you get a ticket, it doesn’t get dismissed because you tell the officer that everyone does it. It’s annoying but it is still a law; it was broken. The details of other people’s actions have nothing to do with the fact that you broke the law.

    2. Breaking the racquet is an undeniable offense.

    3. The Verbal Abuse Violation. She called him a thief for ‘stealing’ a point from her. When has it EVER been okay to call a person in a position of authority a name because you are upset with them? How was that ever going to work out in her favor? I don’t care what she called him; it was inappropriate. You don’t get to decide whether your words should have been offensive to someone, nor do you get to decide how offended they should be.

    The argument that men have said far worse things to match officials is COMPLETELY valid; this doesn’t take away from the fact that she was 100% wrong. This is her place of work. She is in a professional environment. It is never okay to call someone names because you are upset with a call. She is an adult. At this point, she should know that in a heated moment, going out of your way to walk over to a person and call them names is NEVER going to help the situation. EVER. Moreover, when someone tells you that you are wrong, it is not okay to point to other people who you feel did worse things. YOU did something wrong. We are talking about you. If you got caught selling weed, you don’t get out of that by pointing out that the officer hasn’t arrested the guy down the street who is selling cocaine. You are BOTH wrong. Instead of trying to get your actions ignored; the focus should be on both parties getting punished. These are things that absolutely need to be addressed, but during this match was not the time to address them; moreover, calling the umpire names was certainly not going to help the cause. The time to address this would have been at the postmatch press conference. It is still a national stage. She would have gotten her point across, but yelling at the umpire did nothing but hurt her.

    The argument that he should have taken into consideration that this was the championship match is irresponsible. SHE should have taken the fact that this was the championship match into consideration before she decided to continue to yell at him (after she received two valid penalties). The notion that acted she way she did because she didn’t realize that this would be a third penalty is upsetting for several reasons: your behavior should not be dictated by whether or not you think that you will be punished. Also, she is a seasoned player. Her not knowing the rules (that the coaching violation counted as the first warning), does not make her immune to them.

    Again, I LOVE Serena. There are absolutely some things that need to be addressed here, like male players getting away with far worse offenses and the fact that all coaches give tips during the game…but this doesn’t take away from the fact that every one of those penalties were valid.

    • Catherine says:

      As a mom, Serena isn’t going to eat the double -standard in silence anymore. Especially not in prime time. I admire her for it.

      • Ali says:

        This.

        It’s personal times a thousand now that she’s looking at the world through her daughter’s eyes.

        We argue rightness or wrongness of her actions all day. The point is that the umpire had discretion at every step and chose to penalize her.

        To ignore the racial and sexual imbalance of power here is to act like these aren’t human beings involved playing out what happens everyday in America to people of color and most especially women of color.

    • Tania says:

      I have to ask since it’s not evident from the comment you made. You start by saying, “every black girl” giving me the impression you’re a person of color. But the rest of your comment is about how wrong she is without acknowledging the fight she had to go through to get where she is.

      As a minority, I totally understand why she lost her cool. It’s a lot of bottled up experiences where she shut up. Where she let the system abuse her and cast her out. It’s for all of those matches she played where she lost based on things outside of her control – her skill – and others deciding, “Not today Serena. Not on my watch.” It’s getting to a place where she can use her voice for the black girl that admires her and gets into tennis and not having to put up with the million instances of subtle racism, abuse and sexism at play that Serena had to put up with her entire career.

      So you can sit there and say, “This is how you would have reacted.” without having to experience she had to her entire tennis career.

      • Alissa says:

        you can understand why she reacted that way, and admit that she has experienced racism and sexism in her career, and still feel that she behaved unprofessionally and was in the wrong.

        just because you know why someone did something, doesn’t make it right.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        I saw a post on Twitter that it was a 1000 little cuts that led to Serena’s anger. She’s sick and tired of the misogyny, the racism, the bullshit and she let the USTA and Ramos have it. On a world stage. ✊🏾🙌🏾🙎🏽‍♀️

      • Becks1 says:

        @Alissa –

        But you can also think that she acted unprofessionally and think that the line judge was on a power trip. Athletes get heated – it happens – especially in a game at that level. The line judge did not have to react the way he did. And that to me is the issue. It’s not that Serena was 100% in the right (like I’ve said I don’t watch tennis so no clue how her behavior compares to other players etc, so maybe she was 100% right, I don’t know), but even if she wasn’t – Ramos clearly did not have to dock her the game. And that to me is where the sexism and racism comes into play.

      • Veronica S. says:

        You can think her behavior is unprofessional and understand that it’s a result of years and years of microaggressions eating away at her until she exploded. Maybe instead of shifting the responsibility on minorities to be supermen in the face of adversity, we should start addressing the underlying problems that lead to meltdowns like this. It is unbelievable to me how much people want to pretend like that playing field is level for all of us when it comes to minorities behaving in ways that aren’t perfectly socially acceptable. Stop ripping away these people’s humanity. Stop pretending that they can’t be hurt and wronged and lash out because of it.

    • Tania says:

      @Alissa NOPE! You don’t understand. You never will. And lucky you.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      “If you got caught selling weed, you don’t get out of that by pointing out that the officer hasn’t arrested the guy down the street who is selling cocaine.”

      Actually, you can. It’s called selective prosecution, and it’s a valid defense.

    • Joy says:

      100% agree to this. You explained it best! no matter how much I admire Serena, she was clearly at fault and accountable for her actions..it the a championship game. She should have just focused more on her play since she was already losing and voiced her anger and opinion at the press conference-win or lose..I also applaud Naomi for a great match. She derserved the trophy.

    • Melissa says:

      *standing ovation* Yes! Thank you! Truer words never spoken.

  11. Biggles says:

    Imagine if Serena, having realised that some questionable wrongs had been made against her, had resolved to play her damn heart out to prove the umpire wrong, and then used the following press conference, and her enormous media sway to create an effective and driving narrative RE inconsistencies in tennis, particularly in this pretty shambolic US open event. Unlike many, she has that power.

    I haven’t quite made my mind up on a lot of the allegation and behaviours in last night’s match, but I do not like all these media articles and opinions that completely negate Serena’s behaviour: I’m a fan, but she was utterly disgraceful last night and contributed to the robbery of Osaka of a joyous and momentous event. She overreacted when continued to berate the umpire well past the heat of the moment, and unfortunately the codes were justified. That being said I hope there are some further examination of the issues raised yesterday (particularly the coaching – if it’s a problem then get on it!), and that there is some good to come out of this ridiculous event.

    • Catherine says:

      I watched it and thought: I’ve been in that courtroom. (I’m an attorney). I loved her for fighting for herself and for MAKING A RECORD.

      PRECEDENT, INDEED. Let’s see what the boys do today

    • Tania says:

      What’s disgraceful is Serena fans not realizing she’s faced men like this one HER ENTIRE CAREER and she doesn’t want others to do that so if she’s taking an L once based on her behavior and then calling her on it. Nobody. None of us. Have had her journey. None of us know what it’s taken for the great tennis player of all time to shut up and play. Shut up and listen to me. Shut up and wait for your turn. Shut up and work hard and do your best and still lose because you don’t belong here.

      I absolutely love that she’s the topic of conversation today based on her “bad behavior” because I’m tired of her having to live up to an idealized standard of decorum when she had to fight to get where she is today more than anyone else.

      • Reese says:

        I don’t love it at all.
        I have commented in almost every post from Kaiser on Serena or tennis. Maybe at most 17-20 comments for each one? They are not the most popular posts.
        As a black women (tennis fan) watching the comments from the previous post yesterday on Serena fills me sadness. Using this instance on Serena’s career allows certain people to hide behind comments which are racially driven. There is a different motivation behind the comments. These are not tennis fans commenting about the rules, these are people using this platform as a way to release mean spirited comments. Hiding their bigotry and using this instance to malign her.
        I can appreciate tennis fans that agree or disagree with me on the calls in the game, whether she was cheating or not, is their a double standard in tennis, however, some just need to be called out for hiding what they really are behind their comments.

      • Jamie says:

        @Reese. You are 100% correct. Thank you for calling those people out.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Serena is not who ruined Osaka’s moment. Years and years of personal and industrial racial and gendered aggression is what created this moment. Maybe Serena was in the wrong here. Maybe it was unprofessional. But pretending that all of those years of bullshit didn’t build up and contribute to this meltdown is ridiculous. It’s utterly dehumanizing to expect minorities to bury all that shit and let society not have to face the consequences of when people explode.

  12. bap says:

    This is not a women issue Serena. This is a bad conduct issue on your part. Serena displayed Bad Sportsmanship on the court and this is not the first time.

    Congratulations to Osaka for winning with grace!

    • Reese says:

      This is absolutely a women’s issue.
      It’s an issue in tennis that men get away with certain behaviours that women don’t.

      • Biggles says:

        Yeaaaah well that’s not always true. There’s a fairly high profile video of Djokovic getting a contentuous (to Novak) code violation from this exact umpire, who, I believe, is then reprimanded again when he argues the code – and Djokovic never called the man names, and was heated but polite. Another poster has also referenced that Nadal has been controversially coded by this same umpire.

        Maybe the issue is actually that this is the one umpire ballsy enough to uphold the big guns to standard?

  13. Claudia Gomez says:

    I think Serena is right. I saw everything. Imagine if this had happend to McEnroe, he would not have had the career that he had. There’s a double standard and It has to change! Good for Serena for speaking her truth!
    The coaching violation was wrong. Every coach does coaching.
    She was a class act with Naomi and that says all. Maybe Serena couldn’t win that match. But for her to lose this way is so sad.

    • Liniag2 says:

      McEnroe was penalized for his tantrums often throughout the years. I feel like I’m in a parallel universe.

      • Catherine says:

        Agassi called an ump a son of a bitch in a us open final, no penalty. Novak took his shirt off during the us open QF THIS YEAR, AS IN: LAST WEEK. Threw it on the ground, sat in his chair shirtless, argued with Ump, as his opponent left the court for a technical break: no violation. Rafa verbally challenged this same ump to “give me all the citations you want, I’m playing NOT YOU” in the French 2 years ago: no violation.

      • Becks1 says:

        McEnroe’s behavior also added to his….reputation? status? legend? I’m not sure. But now, decades after he was winning championships, its looked back on with nostalgia. Remember that Visa or AmEx commercial featuring him? It’s part of tennis lore in a way. I’m sure it was frowned upon at the time, but its part of what made him famous.

        Let’s see if people talk about Serena’s “outburst” the same way in 20 years.

    • Carey says:

      People need to stop using McEnroe as an example of someone who got free passes. He was disqualified from the Australian Open in an early match for violations that included racket abuse and verbal abuse, he was thrown off the US Davis Cup team, he was completely suspended from tennis for two months after unprofessional behavior at the US Open, and fined tens of thousands of dollars over his career at a time when the athletes made far less money.

      Does that mean Carlos Ramos didn’t discriminate against Serena? No.
      Does that mean racism and sexism aren’t enormous problems in tennis? No.

      But using McEnroe as an example weakens your argument instead of strengthening it.

      • Claudia Gomez says:

        Well that’s Your opinion, but for sure he wasn’t the only one who had an outburst and don’t had a penalty called.
        It was the US open final, he can just give her a verbal call, Serena maybe was emotional but it wasn’t verbal abuse. How many man have had outburst, and none of this non sense happens?
        Never saw McEnroe given a penalty like that, in an US open final even if therés still evidence of much more.
        Thank you!

  14. Brunswickstoval says:

    I don’t care how much she loves tennis or how much money she makes. She carries so much weight of expectation on her every game she plays. She has to be the best, be perfect and behave perfectly. Or she is treated appallingly. I’ve watched tennis for years and pretty blond girls can get away with a lot more than she ever could.

    I really feel for her. Now she’s a mum of a girl this sort of treatment will hurt even more.

  15. bap says:

    Serena was being out played by Osaka and she had a meltdown. For example Not the first time 2004.

  16. FhMom says:

    The only thing I object to is her saying it cost her the game. This happens in many sports. An official makes a bad call. It may cost points, sometimes the winning point, or it may get in a player or a team’s head and the game goes downhill from there. It happens. Fans and players complain and it always seems like bad sportsmanship. It may be true, but those are the rules. I hope, as Serena says, this will help women’s tennis. I just hate that it takes away from Osaka’s win.

    • Reese says:

      Where did she say it cost her the game?

      • FhMom says:

        @Reese
        Sorry, I just got back here.
        If you read the quote, Serena says, “ I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. “

        Does that not mean it cost her the game? Not the Open but the game. I guess you are misinterpreting what I said?

    • Lightpurple says:

      It did cost her a game. Tennis terms: game, set, match. Tennis rules: a point penalty, you lose a point; A game penalty, you lose a game. He gave a warning for the coaching, a point penalty for the smashed racket, a game penalty for being called a thief. He gave a game to Ōsaka. That’s when Serena had the other officials come out. Before he gave the game penalty, Naomi had to win two more games to take the set. By giving the game penalty, she only needed to win one more game against Serena, which she did because Serena was out of it by that point.

      • Reese says:

        You never answered the question. Where did Serena say that she lost the US open because of penalties given? Where did she say it cost her the game?
        Read the previous post

    • MrsPanda says:

      She was right that it cost her ”a” game. But in tennis, ”a” game is just one game (4 points) and not the entire match :) So she’s never said that lthe penalty lost her the entire match, but it did lose her one game. I think it’s just a terminology confusion, and you’ve conflated ”game” with ”match”. Game in tennis is used differently to other sports such as football etc.
      Each tennis match is made up of two to three sets. To win a set, you must win at least six games. The games are scored starting at “love” (or zero) and go up to 40, but that’s actually just four points. From love, the first point is 15, then 30, then 40, then game point, which wins the game.
      Osaka won the first set at 6-2, and the second set 6-4. I think it was around 4-4 of the second set that Serena received the game penalty. Which bought it to 5-4 in Osaka’s favor. Then Osaka won the last game easily and won the match in two sets (6-2 to 6-4).
      I think Osaka was the much stronger player on the day and even Serena would probably admit the match would have gone to Osaka regardless, but she’s right that it cost her that one game.

      • Reese says:

        Being British and a tennis fan I’m very familiar with the terms game and match. I didn’t confuse the terms. I’m simply pointing out that FHMOM said she had issue with “Serena saying it cost her the game”, which she meant match, against Osaka due to penalties.
        Serena never blamed her loss against Osaka due to the penalties called against her. I was just asking her to prove what she wrote.

      • MrsPanda says:

        Reese I was replying to FhMom’s first comment upthread, where it seemed she’d conflated game and match. Serena did say it cost her a game (which it did), but she never implied that it cost her the match. I think we’re saying the same thing, sorry if I misread something I’m just skimming comments!

      • Reese says:

        @mrspanda took the long way here… I see what you’re saying now. I think we are saying the same thing.
        And Osaka did play brilliantly

  17. Marty says:

    These weak, trash-ass people out here want to talk about fairness and equality, but as soon as a women, a BLACK WOMANin particular, stands up for herself she’s out of line.

    If you have been watching tennis as long as I have, almost 30 years, you know that what that umpire did was unheard of because you have seen male players do and say a lot worse and never get a game penalty.

  18. Zan says:

    So far, not many male players have spoken up on this double standard of the “verbal abuse” issue, but former player James Blake has. He admitted he has said much worse and never had this type of penalty. And, he added, when he was yelling about a call, he’s had umpires give him the warning “if this continues, I’m going to have to penalize you”. That type warning was the least this ump could’ve done to try to de-escalate this situation.
    I sat watching this match, in shock, as it unraveled into a historic debacle.
    And, in the end, Serena did what she could to make sure the moment wasn’t further marred for Osaka, who deserved better than this mess of an ending for her first Grand Slam title. In that trophy ceremony and presser, Serena demonstrated leadership, perspective and class. I’m happy to see her pledge to keep fighting on!

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Thank you! Players are warned before assessing a penalty of that magnitude, especially in a GS final. He made the match about putting Serena in her place, instead of managing the integrity of the game.

    • Miss M says:

      Andy Roddick has… check his twitter.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      I’m glad so many are backing her up, but it’s sad that it takes white tennis players sticking up for Serena to make people listen to her valid argument.

      • lisanne says:

        They vast majority of top professional tennis players are white, so not surprising that most players sticking up for her are white.

  19. Crowhood says:

    I see that we aren’t allowed to comment here if we don’t follow tennis regularly but I’m a rebel so here goes.

    As a sports fan of many other sports, the duration of the conversation Serena was having shocked me more than the content. You would get penalized in most sports for a delay of game before the content that caused it.

    I do not like the fact that she said that he stole the game. I did watch this match and it appeared she was losing, regardless of that call. Also my dad always said If the refs can cause you to lose the game you didn’t deserve to win it anyway.

    I do Know that I enjoy watching women’s soccer far more than men’s because men are constantly flopping and falling and trying to draw a penalty and women just play through it. There’s a parallel here that I cant Seem to draw but it came to my head as I was Watching this.

    I think that when people have been consistently treated differently for their entire lives, and I believe we all can agree that being a black woman in tennis, Serena has been treated differently than most every other professional athlete period, that person is going to have a breaking point that may not “fit” with others perceptions. I believe Serena reached hers.

    Ultimately, I believe she was justified in her frustration, justified in expressing it, but perhaps took it too far in the moment.

  20. Jess says:

    I feel for Serena, yes she lost her temper but Jesus Christ think about all the BS she’s had to put up with over the years? People are so much harder on her than they would be with any dainty white woman on the court, it is exactly like “permit patty” or “coupon Carl”. You can hear the frustration and desperation in her voice and it breaks my heart, I cannot imagine being her shoes all these years and I hate that she has to deal with any of it.

  21. Doubleh82 says:

    Yesterday was a sad day for tennis and an awful end to the tournament for both players. My heart broke for Osaka when she apologized for winning.

    And to all those judging Serena’s behavior, congratulations that you conduct yourselves with perfect decorum at all times. However unless you are an elite black female athlete who has dealt with a lifetime of sexism and racism, your judgment can take a seat

    I get the feeling that there is a lot of overlap between the “he was just enforcing the rules” and the “all lives matter” crowds

    • Caty says:

      “I get the feeling that there is a lot of overlap between the “he was just enforcing the rules” and the “all lives matter” crowds.”

      This has presented an opportunity to call out a Black woman for not being perfect at all times. Some people are far too eager to seize that opportunity.

  22. sealit says:

    Congratulations Osaka! It’s sad I had to actively search for a picture of her because this has become all about Williams. She behaved badly. Period. You don’t go after a ref or umpire. You learn that day 1 playing any sport. All the excuses and the what about this other player are terrible arguments. Isn’t that what we complain about with the Trumpsters, their what about-isms? Focus on Serena, not what other players do.

    (Before you come at me: I voted for Hilary, I’m a female minority, I was a Division 1 athlete in a sport historically reserved for White Ivy League men.)

    • Ali says:

      @sealit – but tennis players do go after umpires for decisions they don’t agree with.

      This isn’t an unprecedented incident of a type of player behavior. The umpire’s reaction to her behavior is unprecedented. Let’s focus on his actions as those are the actual controversy here.

      • sealit says:

        Rise above. It’s called good sportsmanship. And just because everyone else does it, doesn’t make it right.

      • Reese says:

        This one isn’t worth your time

      • sealit says:

        Reading back on comments I see that a lot of people aren’t worth it in your eyes. I happen to believe that everyone deserves a certain level of civility.

      • Veronica S. says:

        She’s risen above it plenty of times before. You can’t expect people to tolerate racism and sexism on a regular basis and not falter at some point. Expecting minorities to be model citizens at every point of their life is dehumanizing. It’s the perfect tool of oppression to silence voices.

        There’s a world of difference between poor sportsmanship and poor sportsmanship that stems from a meltdown over years of racism and double standards.

  23. Patty says:

    Maybe the conversation should be flipped. The argument shouldn’t be that everyone does xyz so I should be able to do it too. Instead the argument should be let’s make sure that the rules are followed and that all violaters are punished. I watch a lot of tennis and Ramos is actually a really good ump, that’s being lost in all of this. He’s always been more of a stickler for rules. So the real problem is not with him, but more so that other umps are probably let players get away with too much.

    Quite frankly, players aren’t supposed to receive coaching. So I would like to see the WTA and ATP crack down on it more consistently; maybe review the tapes and start issuing fines. I wish they would also crack down on delay of game tactics, racquet smashing, and tennis players arguing on court with officials over calls. But that’s just me.

    • frank drebin says:

      word

    • Millenial says:

      I agree Patty. It sounds like tennis needs to have a come to Jesus talk about good sportsmanship in general. (And also a come to Jesus talk about sexism and racism).

      In any event, it seems like they’ve let their players get away with bad behavior that other professional athletes have had to learn to refrain from. Then when someone actually enforces the rules, of course it’s going to come with accusations of unfairness at the very least.

  24. Maum says:

    Also want to re-iterate that whatever our feelings are on the controversy I am sad that the 20 year old Osaka, who played her heart out and was a deserved winner, has been forgotten in all this mess.

    There was a really interesting article about her and her family background in the (failing) NYT

    http://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/magazine/naomi-osaka-breakthrough-game.html

    Her first Grand Slam will have been tainted. I don’t think she was crying tears of joy at the end of the match- and it’s a real shame.

    • Jamie says:

      I agree that her first Grand Slam win has been tainted.
      That win will forever have an unnecessary asterisk on it because an umpire decided to insert himself into the championship game and award an entire game. I’m sure she wanted to win through HER efforts, not the umpire’s.
      I feel for her.

      • Melissa says:

        Um, excuse me. She did win for her efforts. Did you even see the game? The umpire had nothing to do with her win, it was all on her.

    • Ms says:

      I have never seen someone look so sad after winning their first major AND a 3.5 million dollar purse. She was well on her way to winning the match outright and I feel awful for her. But she is a tremendous player and we will see much more from her.

  25. Ladida says:

    Many things can be true at once people! Serena losing her cool doesn’t negate the umps bad actions. Most people get emotional about things they’ve been fighting for their entire life. That said, I don’t know much about Tennis, but as a golfer I see no place where slamming a racket is appropriate, it’s actually violent. But I’m a huge Serena fan and I don’t think she would do something like that unjustifiably. The tennis world has fought her presence on account of race and gender her whole career, so maybe she finally had an F-U moment. Let me ask you, which type of aggression is worse? The visible or invisible?

    From most of what I’ve read, she was losing the match. The other player’s victory was overshadowed, that is an awful thing. The ump was clearly biased and probably has a history. I think there should be a rematch. If nothing else, they could play for charity!

  26. Laura says:

    Personally I think that she did this because she knew she was going to lose and wanted to make a scene to take the attention away from the fact she was out played and she is getting older. When we should be talking about a new tennis star we are talking about her. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  27. Jb says:

    I follow tennis in the loosest possible way. But Serena was policed in a way no white man every would be. End of story. And she was brilliant in her support for her opponent and in her final words from the press conference.

  28. S says:

    It blows MY mind that I’m seeing so many people talk about everything Serena did wrong, and acting as if her actions are a new phenomenon in sports. As if 20+ college football coaches yesterday didn’t performatively throw down their clipboard or headset and scream at refs over what they felt was a “botched call.” As if 100+ high school coaches didn’t do the same the night before. Did anyone refer to them as “hysterical,” or write 2,000 word opinion pieces about their “lack of decorum”? As if athletes and coaches disagreeing with calls is something Serena started Saturday at the U.S. Open.

    As if IN THIS SAME U.S. Open, another umpire didn’t come down off his seat to give a pep talk to a man who was frustrated and not playing well. While at the same competition, a woman was fined for briefly revealing her sports bra in order to change a sweaty shirt…while male counterparts sit shirtless and sweaty on the sidelines for long minutes.

    Serena Williams isn’t perfect. She’s a hard-charging athlete who wants to win. Qualities that are universally admired in male athletes, but looked upon aghast when they come from a women, PARTICULARLY a black woman. When they do the EXACT SAME THINGS men are “competitive,” where women are “angry” or “hysterical.”

    I could go on and on, but if you don’t see the racism and sexism in what happened to Serena Williams yesterday, you’re being willfully blind.

    She was imperfect. She lost her cool. But to expect her to be 10x better behaved and composed than any man in the same position, is to enforce the racist, sexist societal status quo.

    Oh and, PS, the AP is reporting that USTA is fining Serena $17,000 for the 3 violations cited by Ramos. 🤯

    • Jamie says:

      “She was imperfect. She lost her cool. But to expect her to be 10x better behaved and composed than any man in the same position, is to enforce the racist, sexist societal status quo.”

      YES! Say it louder for the people in the back!

    • Reese says:

      +1 ITA

    • Giddy says:

      @Mego, that is a great article. This summed it up for me:

      “To see Williams’s comeback after a traumatic birth stymied over seemingly minor infractions seems unnecessary and malicious. To see the devastation that those penalties wrought on two women of color at the top of their sport, during what should have been a joyous time, is heartbreaking.”

      Unnecessary and Malicious!

  29. Diana B says:

    All these comments about how Serena was wrong because she broke the rules and deserved the penalty are so obtuse it is infurating. Racism is a sistem that by playing by the rules it is targeted to disproportionally affect people of colour. Same with sexism. Do you think the overpopulation in prison of people of colour is a coincidence? It has been proven that drug offences were set up with the kind of sentences they have to target specifically people of colour. Those people of colour broke the law, but can you honestly say the are not the victim of racism? Why is it so hard to see the double standard in this situation? It is truly alarming how people rationalize this ish.

    • frank drebin says:

      oh here comes the race card. poor Serena, if she was white blah blah blah

      • S says:

        Society’s rules and laws themselves aren’t ALWAYS unfair—though they are often are written to intentionally disadvantage people of color—but the way they’re applied almost always is. In the case of sports, and even tennis in particular, we see countless far more egregious outbursts by men go by with little, or far lesser, penalties.

        In the case of the broader world of laws, rules and so-called norms, it’s been shown time and time again that people of color are more often stopped, arrested and prosecuted for THE EXACT SAME offenses, when compared to white folks. And even when whites are prosecuted, they receive lighter sentences and lower bail. These aren’t mild, arguable differences, either. For instance, though study after study shows that Americans of all races use drugs at roughly the same rate, African-Americans are prosecuted at 5x the rate of whites for drug offenses, and a full 1/3 of the African Americans in prison are there on drug convictions, a percentage double that of whites. So, yes, systemic racism is alive and well and functioning as intended in 2018 America.

        There is no denying that, despite their immense, unprecedented, talent, Serena and Venus Williams have endured unspeakable racism in the tennis world. They’ve had their bodies ridiculed and policed, with everything from their hair, to their uniforms, and even various body parts declared “unseemly,” and “below the dignity” of the game. They’ve had their sexuality, and even their gender, repeatedly called into question by the very same people who want to punish them for being black females that excel in a game traditionally dominated by white athletes.

        It is most certainly NOT Serena playing, “the race card,” it is racism that is playing Serena Williams.

      • Enn says:

        Don’t forget to pick up your hood at the dry cleaners tomorrow.

      • Jmeboo says:

        People and especially women of color, didn’t you know? Only Caucasians can tell you when you’ve actually experienced racism and/or sexism. If they don’t agree, you’re just using the ol “race card”.

  30. Shannon says:

    Sounds like she was being gaslit, so I can’t blame her for losing her temper. The important thing is how gracious she was to the winner. Her problem was with the ump, and it sounds like that was the audience’s problem as well. I’m a white woman, and I know I’ve had the sh!t gaslit out of me before by men, and I know it’s worse for a woman of color. Particularly a Serena Williams, some men can’t stand a strong, successful woman. One day her daughter will hear this story and be so proud of her mom.

  31. IlsaLund says:

    Billie Jean King and others have come out in support of Serena. She’s had to fight her way back this past year from childbirth and illness and it’s truly amazing that she’s playing at the level she is. I can only imagine the pressure Serena feels being so close to achieving a legendary accomplishment of winning 24 Grand Slams…and knowing that the tennis world is going to do everything in their power to prevent her from accomplishing that goal. That all the BS she’s had to deal with throughout her career is about to get amplified cause she’s so close to winning that 24th Grand Slam. Venus and Serena have had to put up with so much crap that no one else has….I’m just in awe of their ability to soldier on. Folks can go take all the seats when it comes to hating on the Williams sisters.

  32. Digital Unicorn says:

    I didn’t watch it but from what I’ve heard from other tennis fans, yes Serena lost her cool but Ramos is problematic AF. As others here have stated Rafa threatened to get him banned from his games as well as he (Ramos) not penalising other (male) players for worse behaviour than Serena. All she did was stick up for herself and call out his behaviour – at final’s there is an unspoken rule that the umpire’s shouldn’t interfere with play. He is not consistent when dealing with this behaviour on court.

    I have a friend that is a part time umpire at some of the big events and she has said that the game, like most other sports, has its problems with misogyny and racism. She commented that some of the senior/full time umpires (like Ramos) take themselves too seriously and are far up their own asses thinking they are a law unto themselves.

  33. Lilly says:

    Thank you, Kaiser. Skipping comment section again, with love, lots of great commentary here. And… exactly only if a woman, African-American woman speaks out.

  34. xflare says:

    The ONLY story here is that the winner of the match, Ms Osaka felt the need to apologise for winning, this article doesnt even mention her name or even have a picture of her.

    • Reese says:

      Hate to state the obvious here….
      This post is about Serena Williams.
      To view a post about Osaka, go to website and click on a headline that is about her. I’m sure you will find lots of pictures of her there.

  35. Giddy says:

    The only time in my memory that Serena asked for a special dispensation was for her catsuit that she wore for medical reasons. Otherwise all she has asked for is a fair shake; to be treated like all others and for rules to be the same for all. And even when she has not been treated fairly, her talent was stunning and she won. She’ll win again, but hopefully she will only be competing against her opponent, not her opponent and the umpire.

  36. Yes Doubtful says:

    To add insult to injury, they fined her. With the press, star power and ratings she brings to any game she plays, how stupid can they be?

    • Patty says:

      Players get assessed fines for code violations. And Serena’s was really minor. And I wish news stories would stop with the narrative that the ump stole the match or that Serena would have come back and won; Osaka pretty much dominated the entire match and just recently beat Serena. What’s being lost here is a real celebration of Osaka, another young female player who happens to be of Japanese and Haitian descent. That’s too bad.

  37. Meredith says:

    I don’t watch a lot of tennis but I watched yesterday’s match(?) and I didn’t find Serena’s behavior to be out of line. However, I do watch A LOT of baseball and the managers (and players) say way worse things to the umpires. They get into the umpires faces cursing and yelling at them and some do get tossed, but not that often. When players get a strike, you can see the managers cursing the umps out from the dugouts and they rarely get tossed for that.

    Ramos is a snowflake that couldn’t handle a woman of color standing up to him and standing up for herself. Period.

    • indian says:

      Baseball is an American sport:-) Tennis and Cricket were always considered “gentlemen’s” sports-not neccessarily where one is born but a certain sportsman/woman like attitude is valued,rather than just winning or losing.

  38. Princessk says:

    The Williams sisters have had to deal with double standards and being measured by a different yard stick throughout their careers. The restraint they have maintained over the years has been remarkable and l really hope that one day they will tell the true story of what they had to go through at the hands of the tennis establishment.
    Both girls have had exemplary on court behaviour over the years and yet they are always pulled up and reminded of the rare occasions they loose their temper. People keep bringing up the time when Serena had an altercation with a line judge years ago, and yet Nalbandian’s behaviour and Pliskova’s recent attempt to demolish an umpires chair with her racquet while he was still sitting in has all but been forgotten.
    I think Serena’s breakdown was a result of years of grossly unfair and biased treatment. Imagine if the US had two blue eyed blonde sisters who had achieved all this. Only recently when Venus got a lot of support at the US open she said it was the first time she had felt like an American.

  39. CQ says:

    Is there a rule somewhere that you must watch tennis and be an avid tennis fan to comment here that I don’t know about? Because the controversy about this final is talked about in general media and written about on this site (a self described gossip site) so don’t shame people for commenting about their opinions just because you think they don’t follow the sport as regularly as you do. This site has commented on the NFL kneeling while self professing not to follow the sport. A little hypocritical on the writers part no?

    • Veronica S. says:

      If you’re talking about the game itself, no. If you’re discussing the historical treatment of minorities and women in the sport, then yes it does. This event didn’t occur absent a context.

  40. Sherry says:

    Maybe have black women umpires for major women’s tennis tournaments. That way no sexism or racism and it will give a boost for diversity in umpiring as well.

  41. Ever says:

    I respect Williams and obviously think she is an outstanding athlete, but man, she is such a drama queen. In my opinion this had little to do with sexism and race and a lot to do with the fact that someone dared to call HER out in such a spectacular way.”Entitled” is the word that comes to mind. I am all for empowering women but not like this. Not with conducting in such an unprofessional and unsportsmanlike way.

    I felt terrible for Osaka. No one deserves this kind of treatment from the crowd. Did you hear her apologize for winning?

  42. Ana says:

    Yeah if a man calls the ump names, he has had a bad day. Now a WOC (rightfully) calls the umpire a thief for taking a game from her, she is irrational, a diva and her mothering skills come in question.
    I don’t understand. We keep giving birth to them and raising and loving them men and they just keep doing this s–t generation after generation. Don’t they have a mother? Because no man who was loved by his mother should ever act this (patriarchal) way towards a woman.