The Internet is raging over what went down this past weekend during the U.S Open Women’s Final. The greatest of all time, Serena Williams, sustained a loss to Naomi Osaka, who some might argue deserved more respect after receiving three code violations and a fine of 17 thousand dollars. If Williams had won, she would be tied with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, making this an absolutely devastating loss.
First things first, Serena Williams is a hero of mine and I adore her. She has been a role model for all women, no matter their age, race, or religion. Our children who look up to Williams are going to be influenced by her behavior, and while I fully support and adore her, I have also chosen to make this a learning lesson for my children.
That deserves a penalty point.
Something all parents can agree on – sportsmanship. If you win, be humble. If you lose, be respectful. After being warned of coaching, which Williams fervently denied, she received a $4,000 fine and proceeded to smash her racket. Williams earned one penalty point and was fined $3,000 for the smashing.
While Williams was adamant about not cheating, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou later admitted that he was coaching her, but he doesn’t think she saw. He also stated that all coaches coach, even Osaka’s coach was, making it totally unfair that Williams was singled out.
If all coaches do this, the rules need to be strictly enforced among ALL players. Or Change the rules. But until then, obeying the rules is what must be done. This deserved a penalty point.
Stand up for yourself.
If you believe that you are being mistreated, stand up for yourself. In the case of Williams, she acted out unprofessionally and it resulted in the automatic loss of a game in the second set. After being accused of cheating, Williams stated, “You are attacking my character and you owe me an apology. You are a liar. You will never umpire on a court of mine as long as you live. Give me my apology. You stole a point from me and you’re a thief too. You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry.” The umpire, Carlos Ramos distributed a verbal abuse violation, costing her one match and 10 thousand dollars.
While it takes courage to stand up for yourself, Williams could have done it with more tact. Her attitude overshadowed her young opponent’s victory taking away what should’ve been a memorable and happy moment for Osaka. However, the question remains: if Williams was a man and had said those things would it have resulted in such a serious violation? I think not. I know not.
Is there equality in the tennis industry?
Apparently, there isn’t. After the dispute between Ramos and Williams, women and men are taking to social media to rally behind Williams. Despite her smashing her racket and making her opponents win bittersweet, Williams did not deserve the automatic loss of a game.
World-renowned tennis legend, Billie Jean King, took to Twitter and tweeted, “When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.”
Backlogs of footage show, Andy Roddick, John Mcenroe, and Andre Agassi have said much worse and have not been penalized. Roddick even took to Twitter to make that clear.
After Serena’s loss, she made it clear that she is “here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality.”
We are too, Serena.
While Williams displayed acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, I can firmly say I’m in her court and I’ll fight with her for equal rights. Even heroes lose their cool. Even mothers lose their cool. And that’s okay. But we still need to take responsibility when we’ve messed up. We need to tell our children that no one is perfect, even those held to higher standards like Serena. However, if you strive to be a good sport and make a difference, you reap the benefits.
Leave it to the woman… the mother, to finally draw the line in the sand and make us look at the rules, and our rights in an equal way. Like those before Serena… they too have deep scars in this fight. This is the price a leader has to pay.
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