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The Serena Williams fiasco at the 2018 US Open

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posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:18 AM
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So, at the US Open yesterday, Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams for the Women's Championship. That wasn't the story though. Williams received first a warning, then a point penalty, and then a game penalty for 3 separate code violations in the second set, and of course today the story is that the umpire is racist, sexist, or both.

First of all, let me say I like Serena Williams. She's a tremendous player, and she's usually very gracious in defeat. She always speaks highly of the other player. Even in this instance, once everything was over, she was very kind to Osaka. She told the crowd to stop booing and celebrate her win and congratulated her. She does have a history of letting her temper cost her though, and taking things way too personally. A few years back she got disqualified from a match for threatening a line judge that called her for a foot fault. The line judge was correct, but Williams started carrying on about how this line judge "had it out for me" and nonsense like this. It was embarrassing, and she deserved to get disqualified.

One other thing I will say, there IS a double standard in tennis about how quickly the umpires tend to penalize the women for unsportsmanlike conduct versus how much they let the men get away with. This has been known for years, and I don't think it's right. However, it's not something you should try to correct during a match. The women should've got together and addressed this long ago. That said, let's review what happened.

Osaka won the first set. During the second set, the chair umpire gave Williams a warning for a code violation for coaching. For anyone who doesn't know, the coaches are in the stands during the match, and they're not allowed to give the player any advice, including hand signals. The network did catch an obvious shot of Williams's coach giving a hand signal that she should move forward toward the net more, and he admitted he made such a gesture afterwards. He also said he wasn't actually trying to coach her and she didn't see it. That's entirely possible. We've all been sitting at home watching sports and yelled at the tv that your team should do xyz to adjust their play. You're not trying to coach them, you're just expressing what you think they should do, knowing they have no idea you did so. It's entirely possible that's all he was doing.

Let's be honest though, knowing that coaching is against the rules, this is stupid on his part because the umpire doesn't know what your intention is. He was correct to call it a coaching violation. This is normal, this happens, to male and female players, and it's just a warning. It doesn't impact the score in any way. She went over and tried to convince the umpire that it wasn't coaching and she doesn't cheat, but honestly what's he supposed to say to that? Imagine in football if a ref throws a flag for holding and the player runs up and says "I wasn't holding." Is the ref just gonna say "Oh, okay, I'll take your word for it," and pick up the flag? That's not how sports officiating works, with men or women, black or white. This was not a race or gender issue, sorry.

I will note that one of the ladies in the commentary box observed that right after this, Williams started moving forward more. I will also note that at smaller tournaments where coaching is allowed, Williams has a history of virtually never getting advice from her coach. She's a very experienced and intelligent player and normally makes adjustments herself. Whether that was a natural adjustment to her game or whether she saw the hand signal, we'll probably never know.

The key thing to note here though is that she's already received a warning. Once you receive a warning, the next time you commit a code violation it's a one-point penalty. Every subsequent violation after that is a one-game penalty, which is a huge penalty. As a professional athlete, once you're in this position, it would behoove you to be on your best behavior the rest of the match to avoid getting a point taken away. Williams did not do this.

Not long after this, after losing a crucial point to Osaka, she smashed her racquet on the ground. This is where it gets dicey. This is what I was talking about where the umpires tend to be more lenient with the men. They tend to get penalized less for smashing racquets. However, I've also seen women smash their racquet and not get a warning or penalty. It really just seems to be up to the discretion of the chair umpire. I think that's ridiculous. It's either against the rules or it's not. Sports rules should be as cut and dry as possible, with very little grey area and subjectivity, wherever possible. In this case though, likely because he had already given her a warning, the umpire decided to penalize her.

Things quickly spiraled out of control from here. Williams lost her mind while she was sitting at her chair during the commercial break, bitching the umpire out for a solid 2 minutes and calling him names. Needless to say, that's against the rules too. So now she got another code violation, her third, which was a one-game penalty. The umpire was correct in his call on this too. Williams demanded his supervisor come out, which is within her rights. The umpire's supervisor, who was a woman I must stress, came out, listened to Williams, but ultimately did not overturn the umpire's call. I've seen them do this before, so they do sometimes overrule the umpire. Obviously the supervisor did not think the umpire was in the wrong here.

So, where does this leave us? Me, the only thing I think you could possibly fault the umpire for is the penalty for her breaking the racquet, because as I said, there is definitely a double standard with that as far as how often the men get penalized for it. However, men do get penalized for it, and as I said that rule has been enforced subjectively for years and that's not the umpire's fault. None of his calls were inconsistent with the rules. None of his calls are things that haven't happened to players of other races and gender. The lion's share of the blame is on Williams, in my opinion. As a professional athlete, you have to have more self-control than this. That's easy for me to say sitting on my couch, but it's also easy to note players in other sports who have been in similar situations and didn't lose their cool like this. All that happened here was the umpire was being strict. If you watch other sports, you know that is not unique to tennis or to women's sports. How many times have we seen an umpire in baseball being a dick about the strike zone, or refs in a football game throwing flags for every little thing? You don't just keep doing the thing that's gonna get you penalized, or keep taking strikes that you know he's gonna call a strike just because you think it should be a ball. You adjust your play in recognition of the reality that the game is being officiated strictly and you keep playing. Williams lost her professionalism and ultimately lost the match. Honestly, she was probably going to lose anyway, but we'll never know for sure.




posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:38 AM
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I am guessing that the argument was the real step wrong.

You don't argue with an official. They're the ones in control, and it rubs them the wrong way. You're setting yourself up for a negative impression at the start and them after already setting that negative impression, you smash your racket.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: face23785

Question?

Why have you posted this thread in U.S. Sports ?

Tennis is a world game and actually invented in Britain.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:45 AM
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I can’t believe coaching isn’t allowed.

Why aren’t the officials for the women women?

What’s “1 point” in tennis, if it’s not a game? 15/10? (I don’t even know why it’s scored that way...

Serena reminded me so much of a friend I have that I used to debate with.

Kinda off topic: Serena’s the best woman tennis player of all-time.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: japhrimu

What do you mean why aren't the officials for the women, women? The game itself isn't any different for men or women, so it's not the like any of the rules change. So long as an official understands the game, then who's playing it shouldn't matter.

Again, you don't argue with an official when he or she makes a ruling. That sets you up for trouble in the long run with that official. They need to be in control because that's their job -- to be the authority.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: face23785

She acted like an entitled, spoiled brat. She got what she deserved.

I feel bad for Naomi Osaka. It was her FIRST grand slam win, and she celebrated with tears of confusion almost apologizing for winning.

Here is her whole tantrum.


edit on 9 9 2018 by stosh64 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:51 AM
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She won $1.85 million for being the runner up.

She was fined $17k

She still made $1.833 million.

She will survive.

And here's a serious question for the men vs women tennis equality.
Why do the men play best 3 out of 5 but women only play best 2 out of 3?
They are paid the same for less work.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: face23785

I thought about making a thread on this but I didn’t watch the match, although I’ve watched every other match during this tournament. I was golfing yesterday so couldn’t watch.

After reading about this and watching the highlights (ok, lowlights), I have zero sympathy for Serena. She completely lost control and to me, it seems like she decided to act like the victim of some serious personal violation - of which this wasn’t. To me, she seemed to try to take advantage of today’s whole feminist culture. And really no one can say anything to the contrary without being labeled a sexist or in this case, racist AND sexist.

As you stated, Serena has a history of outbursts. Also, the umpire has a history of issuing violations to others, including to Djokovic @ Wimbeldon.

She stole Naomi’s moment, ruined her first Grand Slam win and ironically gave women’s tennis a black eye. The complete opposite of which Serena demands of others, is what we saw yesterday.

That’s my opinion of the whole spectacle anyway



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: stosh64

After beating Madison Keys in the semis, the on-court reporter asked how Naomi was able to save all 13 breakpoints against Keys.

Naomi responded, “this might sound wrong but I just really want to play Serena”

I wonder if she’ll feel the same next time the opportunity comes around...



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:58 AM
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In smashing rackets, if the racket is obviously broken, its an automatic code violation, regardless if its a man or woman. What men tend to do is play the next point with the broken racket (if its possible) to skirt around the law.

Serena is generally a lot stronger than other players so can generally hit players off the court with her power. But Osaka looks as strong as Serena and seems to have better strokes. Looks to me that Osaka could dominate woman's tennis in the same fashion that Serena has done.

Serena perhaps felt it might be change of guard as well. Which might explain why she was so upset.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 11:59 AM
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Serena Williams moaning about sexism is totally ridiculous.
There are thousands of men who would wipe the floor with her on a tennis court and the only reason she has made $100's millions is BECAUSE she is a woman.

I have no problem with her calling out umpires, but when someone who is not even a top tennis player, unless you consider WOMENS tennis, starts whining about sexism it is just dumb.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:00 PM
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originally posted by: alldaylong
a reply to: face23785

Question?

Why have you posted this thread in U.S. Sports ?

Tennis is a world game and actually invented in Britain.



Honestly, didn't even notice it said US Sports. I was still not fully awake and just saw sports.

If I saw it said US Sports I would've still posted it here. It was the US Open. Sorry if you're offended.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: UKTruth
Serena Williams moaning about sexism is totally ridiculous.
There are thousands of men who would wipe the floor with her on a tennis court and the only reason she has made $100's millions is BECAUSE she is a woman.

I have no problem with her calling out umpires, but when someone who is not even a top tennis player, unless you consider WOMENS tennis, starts whining about sexism it is just dumb.


My favorite part of the claims of sexism in tennis is that the women get paid the same for doing less work. The women have to play a maximum of 3 sets. The men play a minimum of 3 sets. By the end of the tournament, generally the men have played about twice as many games as the women.

Equal pay for equal work, unless the women are getting the good side of it, then a pay gap is totally fine.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: stosh64
a reply to: face23785

She acted like an entitled, spoiled brat. She got what she deserved.

I feel bad for Naomi Osaka. It was her FIRST grand slam win, and she celebrated with tears of confusion almost apologizing for winning.

Here is her whole tantrum.



I felt bad for Osaka as well. She was likely going to win the match anyway, and this circus totally distracted from her first Slam win.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:03 PM
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originally posted by: japhrimu
I can’t believe coaching isn’t allowed.

Why aren’t the officials for the women women?

What’s “1 point” in tennis, if it’s not a game? 15/10? (I don’t even know why it’s scored that way...

Serena reminded me so much of a friend I have that I used to debate with.

Kinda off topic: Serena’s the best woman tennis player of all-time.


Doesn't even know how tennis is played/scored, but thinks Serena is the best of all time.


She may very well be, but your opinion is kind of silly considering you don't know anything about the game.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: face23785


Serena is a spoiled rotten brat, screw her. Sorry she has brought all this on herself by how she acts. And as far as the women making less than the men, that is simply because the mens sports draw higher ratings which generates more ad revenue, which in turn means higher payouts. That is it plain and simple. No sexism it is simply dollars and cents



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I agree.

But why have male officials for a female sport?
The insinuations and accusations of sexism could’ve been avoided...

I also understand that sometimes, if it’s not something, it’s another...

Just thought I’d participate in the thread.

I like tennis.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: japhrimu


Using that logic women shouldn't be allowed to referee men's sports either.
I disagree. You respect the uniform.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: japhrimu


I don't understand this war on men. Are you saying gender discrimination is ok now? Are you saying men can't be objective? I am am sick of this divisiveness in everything. People claim to want equality but they really don't they want to be treated differently based on their race, sex, religion, etc.



posted on Sep, 9 2018 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: japhrimu

Yeah, well if you start going down that road, then if it's not a man for her to complain about, odds are the official will be a different race and then she can complain about racism.

We can't start to turn this into a game of -isms and intersectionalism. How on earth would you then find officials that would match up with both Serena's *and* Osaka's personal gender/ethnic/cultural/sexual intersections in such a way that neither player could insinuate that damaging rulings made by the judge in question wasn't made against them on account this or that aspect of the intersections not matching up?

Might as well just scrap sports altogether then, much like we're busy destroying all notions of having a cohesive culture in the larger world.







 
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