Following her shocking US Open final loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams is calling out sexism that is rife within Tennis. Williams’ heated dispute with the umpire during the US Open final is the latest controversy involving the tennis superstar in recent months.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka beat Williams on 8 September in a Grand Slam showdown that ended in tears for both players — for different reasons. What was supposed to be a fairy-tale matchup for Osaka and the player she idolizes, got out of control after Williams was handed code violations that she described as unfair.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has faced racist attacks for most of her career, and after the match, she said she believes sexism is rampant in the sport.
Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after she was handed a series of code violations during the US Open final match.
Ramos first gave Williams a code violation warning for coaching after he ruled that her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, gave her hand signals from the stands.
Then she got a point penalty for smashing her racket, followed by a game penalty for verbal abuse after she confronted the umpire.
“You stole a point from me and you are a thief,” Williams told Ramos prompting the game penalty ruling.
At a news conference following her loss, Williams said she’s seen male players 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,” she said.
“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,” Williams said.
Billie Jean King, a tennis legend and equal rights advocate, agreed with her.
“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,” King tweeted.
“Would he (umpire) have done that with a man? History has said, no. He would not have done that with a man.”
Retired US tennis star Andy Roddick tweeted, “I’ve regrettably said worse and I’ve never gotten a game penalty.”