Serena Williams meltdown

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by dub_nerd, 11 Sep 2018.

  1. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: 11 Sep 2018
    I'm not surprised, but still annoyed, at the coverage that Williams' meltdown at the US Open finals has garnered. To recap, she was (correctly) given a warning for coaching when her coach made hand signals from his seat. After losing the next game she flipped out and smashed her tennis racquet on the ground. That earned her a point deduction. This was followed by an extraordinary outburst in which she called the umpire a thief, besmirched his character, threatened him that he would never work again, and accused him of blatant sexism. She then turned on the waterworks and played the victim. Later at a press conference, instead of apologising for her outburst, she said she was fighting for women's equality, and that even though she had been sorely abused it might work out for the next woman to follow in her steps.

    You can see video of the outburst part of Serena's performance here.

    Let's look at the facts. Umpire Carlos Ramos did everything by the book. He was evenhanded in his treatment, and consulted with additional match officials who agreed with his approach.
    Serena was correctly deducted a game after a third violation. The ITA entirely agreed with Ramos after the match and levied a $17k fine on Serena.

    Serena is a great player but she is not good at losing. As someone who watches plenty of tennis, I've often see her become agitated and aggressive when she is on the back foot. That said, it's part of her strength of character that she can fight back so aggressively and has managed to haul back many a match from a losing position. But that has nothing to do with her temper tantrum at the US Open, which was ugly and worthy of a three year old. She was getting completely outplayed by a 20 year old and she let it get to her. By the way, she also came close to ruining the event for the new champion too.

    But none of that is what really bugs me. Anyone can have a bad day, even a great like Williams. What really bugs me is the women's tennis association coming out in support of her, along with -- among others -- Billie Jean King and Sue Barker. What bugs me is the BBC and other channels discussing the event as if there is anything open to interpretation. It bugs me when they bring on "experts" to discuss the sexism issue. It's pathetic. If a man came close to anything like Serena's performance he would be run off the court, and slaughtered in the media. And rightly so. Which reminds me -- Serena was dead wrong that "men get away with far worse things then women". The statistics show that men are penalised more than women for almost every type of code violation in tennis.

    The bottom line is that people need to call it as it is -- Williams abused her status on the court and should be going on her knees to the ITA to apologise. She should be begging that umpire for forgiveness for trying to ruin his character. And she should be apologising to her fans for sinking so low. And the rest of the people backing her "because misogyny" should do the same. The most troubling aspect of this whole thing is that Serena only has to breathe the word "sexist" and suddenly she is some kind of martyress. I've even seen people speculating that she might have subjected to sexism before, as if that was some kind of excuse for the latest episode. Whereas in my eyes she has gone from great champion to lowlife thug in a matter of a few minutes, the same as any male champion who got up to the same shenanigans (not that it's conceivable that a male would do the same thing, if only because they'd know what was coming to them).
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2018
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  2. joe sod

    joe sod Frequent Poster

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    She is using up all the goodwill she built up throughout her career, because of who she is she gets all this support in the media even when she is in the wrong. However there is only so much goodwill capital she has to use up. It's a bit like the Roy Keane meltdown in saipan during the world cup, he got an awful lot of support because of who he was and what he did before in his sporting career. However like a spoilt child he continued to behave like this now he has used up all the goodwill capital and nobody has any respect for him anymore.
     
  3. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Agreed, its sad to see so many jump on this as a gender bias issue.
    My Twitter feed has lit up with dozens of examples of male tennis players being sanctioned by umpires including John McEnroe being disqualified from Australian Open.
    To equate this incident as something related to the struggle for women's rights is frankly absurd.
     
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  4. Ceist Beag

    Ceist Beag Frequent Poster

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    Absolutely agree dub_nerd, was driving me mad listening to coverage of this since Saturday night. Serena is trying to drive her agenda here rather than admit she was wrong and apologise to the umpire who, as you say, did everything by the book.
    The lack of respect she shows to officials is disgraceful.
     
  5. Duke of Marmalade

    Duke of Marmalade Frequent Poster

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  6. Delboy

    Delboy Frequent Poster

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    The Independent had an article in which they put it all down to the racism she suffered as a kid learning tennis, heckling from the crowd in the early days, the bad decisions she got when she first went professional, slavery in the 18th century America etc etc

    https://www.independent.ie/opinion/...er-journey-she-has-been-through-37299454.html

    That article of course left out the other side of Serena and her current status in tennis which was discussed on the Last Word yesterday...how she hid in her panic room in her home when drug testers once called, the amount of drug exemptions she has been given for various allergies/medical conditions, the fact that she has 1 of the lowest rates of drug tests amongst tennis players
     
  7. Ceist Beag

    Ceist Beag Frequent Poster

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    Racist? Or can it only be racist if the person portrayed is not white?
     
  8. TarfHead

    TarfHead Frequent Poster

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    I was listening to this being discussed on an Off the Ball Sunday newspaper review podcast. They played audio of the coach admitting to in-game coaching and further claimed that it is widespread in the game. This was followed by audio of Serena responding to what the coach had said, set against her denial of ever having being coached in-game.

    Awkward

    On a wider point, her maternity leave from the sport seems to be without precedent as she was allowed tumble down the ranking for not participating in tournaments. That seems wrong.

    Her behaviour caused the achievement of her opponent to be overshadowed and that's something Serena can't walk back.
     
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  9. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Williams also wrongly claimed in her press conference for the struggle of women's rights, that Alice Cornet was fined for changing her top on court.

    She wasn't fined.

    She was correctly warned, in accordance with the rules, that shirt changes should occur at the players rest area or in private changing room if desired (something that isnt afforded to male competitors).
     
  10. TarfHead

    TarfHead Frequent Poster

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    I interpreted her point to be men are allowed change their tops courtside and women are not. Why have separate rules ?
     
  11. elacsaplau

    elacsaplau Frequent Poster

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    It seems to me that "coaching" is widespread in tennis.

    Serena's problem is that she said that she wasn't being coached. This is patently untrue - the umpire saw it and her coach admitted it.
    The more she tries to stick to this story the sillier she looks.

    Hard to know what she should have said, though. Could she have said the truth - "sure, I was being coached - but sure pretty much everyone is being coached - why pick on me?"

    We blame her for telling lies but it's very difficult for her to tell the truth. She has equated being coached with cheating so the "truth" becomes something like:

    "sure, I was cheating - but sure pretty much everyone is cheating - why pick on me?"
     
  12. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Women are allowed to change their tops courtside. They also have option to do so in private changing room, men arent offered that choice.
     
  13. TarfHead

    TarfHead Frequent Poster

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    According to this report of the incident, they're not allowed. To be honest, I don't follow tennis and only became aware of this following the incidents at the weekend.
     
  14. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    BBC still going on about this, with their biggest pile of drivel to date. According to one law professor Serena was the victim of racial sterotyping because of 19th century minstrel shows. According to another "intercultural communications professor" and expert on "colorism", it is "impossible to be a black woman and not be angry, after generations of oppression, discrimination and erasure". Apparently men are allowed to be angry, white women are allowed to be angry, but black women are unfairly penalised whereas they "should be celebrated for not being completely consumed by anger". There you have it -- Serena was doing us all a favour by only having a minor meltdown. And it's no longer just sexism but racism too. One wonders what sort of violations Serena would have to commit, and what sort of tantrum she would have to throw, for it to be actually her fault.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45476500
     
  15. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    The report also goes on to say that the code violation was adjuded by WTA (ruling body) to have been given in error.
    Cornet initially changed her top courtside at players rest area. No violation. That is how it came to be back to front - she then changed it on court, at service area game in play. She should have returned to rest area.

    In any case the violation was overruled by the ruling body and no penalty or fine applied.
    Its for this that Serena Williams is fighting for womens rights????

    Here is Jelena Jankovic changing her knickers courtside, again no penalty applied.

    https://youtu.be/Lpa1MVBJMwM
     
  16. Ceist Beag

    Ceist Beag Frequent Poster

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    Now that sounds racist! So just to get this straight, this "professor" is saying that by treating Serena the same as any other person we are being racist, when in fact we should be treating her different because she's black? o_O
     
  17. orka

    orka Frequent Poster

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    I'm a big fan of Serena's but she doesn't seem to understand/accept that she wasn't penalised a game for calling the umpire a thief/liar - she was given a code violation for this offence and because it was her third code violation, it was an automatic game penalty. Her argument should be 'men aren't given code violations' not 'men aren't given game penalties'. She should be well aware of the rules though - 2 code violations and you're next in danger of losing a game.
    However, I do think part of the umpire's job is to read a situation and try to calm it down. He could have given her a soft talking to - 'push this and it's a third violation which will be a game'. He knew how close to the end of the match it was and how important a game penalty would be to the outcome. If only for Osaka's sense of victory knowing she had truly won the match, he should have tried to diffuse things.
     
  18. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Wherever one changes ones knickers the most important thing is to do so without getting them in a twist.
    That's what I was always taught at finishing school anyway.
     
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  19. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    Did you watch the whole thing? Most of the time when Williams was abusing him the umpire just nodded and took it on the chin. He did nothing to inflame the situation. But she wouldn't leave it alone. She kept turning back to him and starting up again, not just complaining about the penalties but repeatedly demanding an apology. I don't believe there's anything more the umpire could have done when she was behaving so appallingly.
     
  20. johnwilliams

    johnwilliams Frequent Poster

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    maybe all players male or female should not be allowed to interact in any way with umpires on the court automatic loss of game