She made an important point during the women's final yesterday
Serena Williams may have just made one of the most important statements in the history of women’s sport, but unsurprisingly, she’s taking a lot of heat for it.
In case you missed it, the Queen of Tennis, and one of the most decorated athletes of all time, was competing in the US Open Women’s final yesterday, against her Japanese opponent Naomi Osaka.
The mother of one was initially penalized for ‘coaching’, meaning she was receiving signals from her coach on court side, something which the commentators revealed that “men do all the time” and are not penalized for. She was penalized a point.
Standing her ground, and standing up to the umpire, Serena was then hit with a code violation. On camera, we could clearly hear her pleading with the rulers, saying “You are not being fair…. this is not fair….I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose. You owe me an apology. You need to announce that I did not cheat. I have a daughter and I stand up for her.”
Finally, the 23 time Grand Slam winner, was penalized a game by the same umpire for vocals on the court.
Since yesterday, the debate has been ongoing about how the different gender standards cost one of the all time greats a championship title, with opinions differing on the controversial incident.
You cannot continue to degrade a person and expect them not to finally pounce back. @serenawilliams has consistently displayed perseverance and grace but she is not to be made a fool of. “Let this be a remind to all… I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.” #usopen pic.twitter.com/5Vwlebh7yx
— Ryan Jamaal Swain (@RyanJamaal) September 8, 2018
But now, former Tennis champ, and fellow female sports star Billy Jean King has come out in support of the 36-year-old.
“Several things went very wrong during the US Open Women’s Final today,” the star posted on Twitter.
“Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn’t, and as a result, a player was penalized for the actions of her coach. This should not happen.
“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.”
Despite the obvious disappointment, frustration and heart break, Serena showed her class once more by instructing the crowd to stop booing, and allowed the 20-year-old Osaka – who was visibly upset – have her moment.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 8, 2018