Serena Williams Speaks Out Against Sexism At The US Open
All as the WTA release a statement arguing she would have been treated differently if she was a male player.
Serena Williams has spoken out about sexism in sport following her loss to Naomi Osaka in the final of the 2018 US Open.
The tennis player was awarded three code violations by umpire Carlos Raomos during the match. After being penalised for coaching, a penalty point for raquet abuse (that's breaking a raquet in anger to those of us that don't speak tennis) and then a game penalty for calling umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief", Serena said she felt her treatment was sexist and that if she was a man, she would have been given more freedom to behave emotionally.
“You definitely can’t go back in time," Serena said at the press conference following her loss. “But I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things."
Serena went on to talk about women’s rights within the sport, saying: “And I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. And for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.”
"He’s never took a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind,” she said. “But I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal [rights].”
After receiving the game penalty for court violation, Serena spoke emotionally to Ramos on court, saying: “You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology?”
“You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry…And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!”
On top of losing the match to come runner up in the tournament, Serena will apparently also be fined $17,000 total for the three violations.
That's $10,000 for the verbal abuse, $4,000 for the coaching violation and $3,000 for breaking her raquet - all of which will be deducted from the $1.85million she wins for taking second place.
However, while the US Open have upheld the umpires penalties, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) have released a statement supporting Serena, arguing her emotional outbursts would have been shown more tolerance if she was a man playing in the male tournament.
"The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women," WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon said in a statement.
"We do not believe that this was done last night."