Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam singles title on Saturday as her idol Serena Williams angrily exploded, calling the chair umpire in the US Open final ‘a thief’. Umpire Carlos Ramos accused Serena of receiving coaching from her box, the tantrum later resulted in a $17,000 fine. When a second code violation for racquet abuse was handed out to her along with a point penalty, she exploded and so rightly if you ask me. The media speaks of this matter as a so called ‘outburst’. Not only was she subjected to a sexist double-standard by her own sports organization, but she had to take it obviously from the media too.
“For you to attack my character, is wrong…you owe me an apology. You are the liar. When are you going to give me an apology? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too.”
So now I am wondering, why is a male athlete who curses, poses, rants and raves celebrated for being ‘intense,’ ‘just in the moment’ or even ‘passionate’ while Serena Williams intense moment is categorized as a ‘meltdown’ or having a so-called ‘outburst’?
It’s not the first time Serena gets a fine for her behavior and yes I agree calling a umpire ‘a thief’ is not the best thing to do. Because if the umpire had let a behavior like this unpunished, his integrity had been questioned. But nevertheless Serena remained calm and in control while making her case. She wasn’t cursing, ranting or raving. So the main question here is would the chair umpire handled the case the same if Serena was not a female?