Serena Williams Accuses the U.S. Open of Sexism After Losing Final Match
Saturday night’s highly-anticipated match between Serena Williams and newcomer Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open finals, grabbed headlines, and not just for the obvious reasons.
Yes, Osaka beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion 6-2, 6-4. But viewers were more fixated on the verbal showdown between Williams and the game’s umpire Carlos Ramos. After handing out a code violation to the tennis star for receiving unfair alleged coaching, Serena smashed her racquet in frustration over the penalty, prompting Ramos to deduct another point from her final tally.
As you can imagine, the accusation of cheating didn’t go over so well with Williams. “There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman, because I’m a woman you’re going to take this away from me? . . . Every time I play here, I have problems,” she sternly explained to Ramos.
“I didn’t get coaching. You need to make an announcement. . . . You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter, and I stand for what’s right for her,” she continued, adding: “You stole a point from me and you are a thief.”
Following the match, Serena graciously congratulated Osaka, but wasn’t ready to move on from her argument with Ramos. “Can I get an apology?” she asked him.
At a press conference after her loss, Serena called out the double standard between men and women in tennis. “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 per CNN.
"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 concluded.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King agreed with Serena’s assessment of the sport, tweeting in support of the mom of one. “When a woman is emotional, she's 'hysterical' and she's penalized for it,” she wrote.
“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.”
Also, retired tennis professional Andy Roddick came to Serena’s defense. “I've regrettably said worse and I've never gotten a game penalty,” he tweeted.
Earlier this year at the French Open, Williams was at the center of controversy for a sexist dress code violation. During the event, she wore a black Nike catsuit that was eventually banned from appropriate game attire. In protest, she began wearing a range of frilly tutus on the court.
We can always count on Serena to speak the truth!