Now THAT is actually an example of Fake News. But really. How many of you at least might seriously entertain that he was just itching to tweet that sucker out?
Serena Williams embodies everything that really pisses Trump off.
#1 – She’s a woman … ‘nuf said.
#2 – She’s black. Ditto.
#3 – She’s successful.
#4 – She very likely considers Trump to be an incredible ass. Admittedly, that does not exactly place Serena in a unique position.
Serena has been taking a lot of flak and criticism, and that criticism has not necessarily been relegated to conservative media. Clips of the confrontation often primarily have highlighted her smashing her racquet, which certainly was an example of her loss of control.
But there were three warnings issued to her in that final match – a Grand Slam final I remind you.
- First, Portuguese Chair Umpire Carlos Ramos issued her a warning for “receiving coaching from the stands”.
- Second, she received another warning for “racquet abuse”. For that, she lost a point.
- Third, she received a warning for “verbal abuse of the chair umpire”. For that, she lost an entire game, which put her opponent, Naomi Osaka, within one game of winning the match.
First, the warning for receiving coaching.
That is indeed a rule, but only for the men and also for women as well in the four, Grand Slam tournaments for both men and women. Coaching is however allowed during game changeovers in regular season women’s tournaments sponsored by the WTA – Women’s Tennis Association.
- How’s this one for irony. Serena Williams has chosen NOT to receive any coaching during changeovers in any matches, even though it is allowed during regular women’s tour events.
- Ramos chose to give Williams the one warning that directly calls into question the competitor’s honesty, since receiving coaching is illegal.
Did Serena over-react to that? Sure. Shit happens in all sports. Not everything is fair. That is an unfortunate reality in all sports. But it is no question that it upset her a great deal.
That coaching warning is VERY rarely if ever called and I would be very surprised if it has ever been called in any Grand Slam final before. I could not locate any figures to back that assumption up, but as I say, I would be very surprised. Any coach who is being honest, as was Serena’s, will tell you that coaching goes on all the time and is virtually never called as a warning.
To make that call in a Grand Slam final involving one of the greatest tennis players of all time, was an inexcusable insertion of himself into a match by that Chair Umpire. That complete lack of judgement and restraint on his part was later exacerbated when he issued the third and final warning.
Second, the warning for racquet abuse.
No question, Serena deserved that one. That warning is much more commonly given out and players are all very aware of it. She later said that she was surprised that it resulted in the loss of a point, however, because she thought that the first warning had been withdrawn. She was not arguing that she did not deserve this warning, but rather that she should not have been penalized a point because that first warning should never have happened.
Third, the warning for verbal abuse of an umpire.
This is also a warning that certainly is issued from time to time, and is not totally uncommon, even in Grand Slams. It was not in place during the infamous era of tennis bad boys, including Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase and, of course, John McEnroe. It was no doubt imposed in great part as a reaction to the incredible abuse inflicted upon umpires by those three men in particular.
What makes this particular warning stand out are the following.
- Since this was the third warning received by the player, by rule it resulted in the immediate loss of a full game. Since the set score was 4-3 at the time, in favor of Naomi Osaka, that made the score 5-3, and put Osaka within one game of winning the match, which she did after Serena held serve to make the score 5-4.
- Issuing a warning which results in a game penalty has got to be even more rare than issuing a warning for receiving coaching, so Ramos was 2 for 2 in issuing warnings that are very rarely, if EVER issued. He also did this, once again, in the final of a Grand Slam tournament.
- Finally, he issued the verbal abuse warning because Serena called him a “thief” for taking away that point with the second warning. That was a total joke, and a gross injustice, in any circumstance. Both men and women, but particularly men, continue to say much worse and never get warnings for it, much less one which results in the loss of a game, and much less during the final of a Grand Slam.
Were any of the three warnings given not in strict accordance with existing rules? No, they were not.
However, as I stated earlier. Were 2 of the 3 warnings issued without any sense of restraint, or judgement, or situational awareness? Of course they were.
Serena has chosen to raise the issue of sexism since Ramos, although a notoriously strict referee, has accepted much worse from male competitors.
I saw that former professional men’s player, and Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash from Australia, who is now a tennis commentator, said that sexism was not at all a factor. That has to be taken with a truck load full of salt.
Here are just a few examples of the nuggets of liberated insight offered by Cash in the past.
- After the Williams sisters played each other in the 2000 Wimbledon semi-final, Cash said that the match was fixed.
- In 2007, Cash dismissed Serena Williams as both “a lost cause” and “deluded”, a player with “a limited attention span”, lacking the “fortitude” and “application” to get back to winning tennis tournaments. (You just have to read that article by Cash. His predictions back in 2007 make the National Enquirer look like the voice of reason.)
- Not sure when he said this, but this is probably Cash’s most famous quote: “Women’s tennis is two sets of rubbish that lasts only a half hour.”
Yeah, that’s the guy whom I certainly want to ask about whether sexism was at all in play in this scenario, especially when it involves one of the Williams sisters.
Chair Umpire Ramos should come to America. As having shown himself to have poor judgement, to be almost certainly a sexist, and to also be quite possibly a racist as well, he will find the current America we are living in to be a welcoming new home.