I do sports.
Serena Williams is in the news!
This happened a while ago and I’m surprised that not a lot of people are talking about it. There is something automatically hilarious about people getting upset while they are being wrong at the same time.
Serena Williams was playing in the US OPEN (?) (I think this is my job… I should know this…). She was in the finals and she was losing. Suddenly, her coach did a hand gesture to her, which he is not allowed to do. She clearly saw it and she pointed out that it was just a thumbs up. Basically, she got a warning, that is how it works in tennis.
I didn’t know this, but in tennis you first get one warning; then, after the next rule violation, you lose a point; and then, after another rule violation, you lose a game, which is technically four points.
After that, she continues to argue against the umpire, the guy who applies the rules. Afterwards, she loses another game and breaks her racket. (I used to play tennis a lot. I grow up playing tennis and I’ve competed in tennis, obviously not on the Grand Slam level. However, I certainly know that breaking a racquet is an extremely childish move. Even though I have never competed on nearly the same level as Serena Williams, I have seen opponents breaking their rackets while playing. It does happen and it is always just cringe-worthy).
That is a second rule violation, so then she loses a point and there is when Serena loses her mind. She goes up to complain to the umpire telling that she did not get coaching (meanwhile the coacher said “I am honest, I was coaching”). So, the real question… what is her reason behind not cheating?
SERENA: I have a daughter and I stand that I have never cheated.
If you are a mother, you cannot be wrong, and you cannot cheat. That makes so much sense. She keeps saying that he owes her an apology, even though she clearly broke the rules. I must say that the umpire was very patient with her, especially if you think on how much she is yelling at him. But then, of course, she has to push it too far… she calls him a thief.
The umpire understands that this is verbal abuse and she loses a game, which is a big deal. Then, she uses a point that other men get away with way worse behavior and what she did was not nearly as bad.
Now, here is the thing, she is clearly a bully and a terrible loser. She was losing the match regardless of what happened. She had already lost against the same player before.
A lot of news covering this story treated it like it was the umpires fault and saying that the umpire treated her differently than a male player. They agree with her sentiment that this was sexism: “Serena Williams is being punished for speaking her truth” or “Serena Williams’ talent offended umpire Carlos Ramos at the US OPEN – black women everywhere know what that’s like”. Some form of racism was involved, too.
Getting the full truth of the story was extremely hard, because a lot of articles ignore the fact that she broke her racquet and completely focused on the fact that she got coaching, which is more of a not so cut-and-dry thing. She is wrong, she’s just objectively wrong. That umpire has a track record of being very harsh with the rules and he treats women and men equal.
A lot of people say a lot of dumb things when they’re upset. When you get emotional you let your better judgment slide (which I can’t relate to whatsoever).
What did she do afterwards? On a press conference, Serena was asked “if you could change one thing about what occurred, what would you change”. Her answer was:
SERENA: I don’t know… You definitely can’t go back in time (…) but I’ve seen other men call other empires for several things (…) I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff.
How can you fight for women’s equality? and how can you reinforce this statement even afterwards when you literally stole from another woman the whole show? The person that beat Serena at tennis felt like she had to apologize and, while they were giving the award, the audience was booing, completely ruining the show for her. It is really upsetting seeing how Serena has drawn all the attention away from Naomi’s victory.
I think it is so stupid. That’s just my opinion, which I’m not supposed to give… Someone told me that. I don’t know how things work here. I’m new…
I am Kate Riley and you’ve just been riled up.