The U.S. Open ended in controversy last weekend because of decisions that the chair umpire made by penalizing Serena Williams. It all started when Williams’s coach was seen coaching her from the stands. This is an odd rule in tennis where the coach cannot coach the player during some tournaments. Regardless of the feelings on this rule, it is a rule and it has to be enforced. Williams told the umpire she was not being coached however, her coach went on record saying he was coaching and coaches her during every event. The umpire gave her a warning for the violation. The match went on and Serena was not playing well and out of frustration she decided to slam her racket on the ground. Thus, leading to another violation and Williams was issued a lost point. Serena was not happy about the decision and reacted by yelling at the umpire and calling him a thief. The umpire then was forced to give the next penalty which is a loss of a game. Serena declared that her penalties were given because she was a black woman and she wouldn’t have gotten them if she was a male.
The reason I decided to hold out on writing this blog is because I had a strong feeling there was going to be a bigger story to come out of this situation. Sure enough, there is, umpires are now talking about boycotting Williams’s upcoming matches. This is not because she is black or a woman this goes far beyond race and gender. This is an issue of attitude and professionalism, Serena has had a history of yelling at umpires and breaking rackets when she is losing or not playing well. The umpire that issued the violations to Serena has given similar penalties to top male players. This is why the umpires are upset the fact that Serena lost the match and fans boo and have blamed the umpires makes it an issue. The fans arguments they produce is that it was unfair, it was given to her due to her race and gender. These are all basically ways to say that Serena is above the rules.
This is why the umpires are considering boycotting her matches. The rules are the rules and the umpire was more than fair with Williams. Williams has acted like an entitled child for most of her career and finally the umpires have had enough and the fans should as well instead of defending her for being unprofessional and obnoxious. Serena did not lose because of the umpire. Serena lost because of Serena. Had Serena played better she could have won, had she not slammed her racket or yelled at the umpire she would not have lost the point or the game. Follow the rules, play the game correctly, control your temper. As the saying goes, play stupid games win stupid prizes, and all the games Serena was playing and has been playing most of her career are catching up to her.