Support grows for Serena Williams's sexism accusations at U.S. Open
Tennis star fined $17,000 US for 3 code violations during final match, fuelling controversy over calls
The discussion over a series of calls against tennis star Serena Williams on Saturday during the women's final of the U.S. Open against Naomi Osaka is provoking a heated debate among athletes, fans, commentators and celebrities about gender equality, chauvinism and fair treatment.
Women are told the only intellecence that matters is rational intelligence. Our emotional intellegence is routinely turned into emotional labor. What happened to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SerenaWilliams?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SerenaWilliams</a> yesterday is the most blatant form of racist misogyny. Shame on you, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOPEN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOPEN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TimesUpOnTennis?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TimesUpOnTennis</a>—@ambertamblyn
I can never truly appreciate the real sexism and racism that Serena Williams will have absolutely faced in her life and career. <br><br>But she faced neither in that Grand Slam final. <br><br>Carlos Ramos made absolutely the correct calls as a chair umpire.—@ringsau
Williams has been fined $17,000 US for three code violations by official Carlos Ramos during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka on Saturday. First, she was accused of getting coaching signals. Then, she broke her racket which cost her a point, and finally, her reference to the umpire as a "thief" cost her a game.
Williams's coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged afterwards that he did try to signal Williams. Former players said it's common practice and they're rarely called out for it, adding that any questionable behaviour usually gets a "soft warning" first.
Ok, last reflections in case anyone cares🙄warning for coaching was fair, but everyone coaches and we need to change that rule.. and Carlos should have told or warned SW about the verbal abuse/ rule before he enforced it.. goodnight—@ChrissieEvert
I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I’ve also been given a “soft warning” by the ump where they tell you knock it off or I will have to give you a violation. He should have at least given her that courtesy. Sad to mar a well played final that way. <a href="https://t.co/xhBzFZX8Wq">https://t.co/xhBzFZX8Wq</a>—@JRBlake
Following the loss, Williams accused Ramos of sexism at a news conference:
"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," she said.
Former tennis star Billie Jean King, whose life story and gender equality activism was recently chronicled in the film Battle of the Sexes, said the situation exemplifies a "double standard."
"When a woman is emotional, she's 'hysterical' and she's penalized for it," King wrote on Twitter. "When a man does the same, he's 'outspoken' & and there are no repercussions."
(2/2) 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, <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a>, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.—@BillieJeanKing
The U.S. Open faced backlash for sexism earlier in the tournament after French player Alizé Cornet took off her shirt, which she realized she was wearing backwards, and put it on correctly while standing near the rear of the court. She was given a code violation by the chair umpire, which officials later said they regretted.
The controversy between Williams and the umpire overshadowed Osaka's victory and marred what should have been a shining moment for the 20-year-old player who counts Williams as an idol. Williams stepped in to stop the crowd's booing during the awards ceremony and was seen consoling Osaka.
High-profile figures such as comedian Kevin Hart and Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union jumped in to praise Osaka for "demonstrating #BlackGirlMagic and fierce determination."
All praise to both 👑👑s <a href="https://twitter.com/serenawilliams?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@serenawilliams</a> the best athlete the world has ever seen & <a href="https://twitter.com/Naomi_Osaka_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Naomi_Osaka_</a> demonstrating <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackGirlMagic?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackGirlMagic</a> & fierce determination. Very proud. Tears watching the hug 🌟👑🌟👑—@itsgabrielleu
"You played an amazing match," Hart wrote. "Enjoy & embrace your moment."