Sorry, Serena. This isn’t a sexist issue. It’s a sore loser issue.
Serena Williams is one of the most decorated players in the sport today. She has won the second-most singles titles in women’s Grand Slam tournaments of all time.
I respect her drive, her tenacity and her skill. The woman can play.
But, Serena’s outburst during Saturday’s Women’s US Open Championship was not only unprofessional and unbecoming of a player of her standing, it was demeaning. And dare I say it? Very Kanye West-ish.
Serena was destroyed on the court by Naomi Osaka, a young tennis phenom who maintained civility and grace despite Serena’s shenanigans where she resorted to calling the umpire a “liar” and a “thief” after he accused her of receiving signals from her coach.
This meltdown was completely unwarranted. Ok, so you didn’t cheat, did you really have to scream at the umpire, Serena? Was it necessary to keep demanding an apology? An apology given on demand is never genuine. You know this, Serena.
I haven’t seen this type of yelling since Cycle 4 of America’s Next Top Model when Tyra Banks told Tiffany she was rooting for her.
Anyway, Serena was eventually fined $17,000 for those code violations. She later claimed it was sexist to have been penalized.
Serena’s anger was misdirected. She greatly underestimated her competitor and was surprised at the outcome. Because she couldn’t do anything about her poor performance, she did what most people who are flustered do – they get emotional and lash out at other people. Then, their professionalism goes down the drain.
Serena is right about one thing. Male tennis players are treated differently on the court. Women are not allowed to get away with a lot of the things their male counterparts are. But, again, this is not a sexist issue. This is a sore loser issue.
Serena’s outburst was a major distraction from Naomi’s win. That young lady played her butt off. But, instead of focusing on that, we’re talking about Serena.
Saturday’s episode provided three lessons for Naomi. One – don’t be a sore loser, two – don’t demean the umpire (even if others do it) and three – don’t ever invoke the destructive spirit of sexism to hide your anger over your loss.