So what do we think about this whole Serena Williams thing? Was she justified to be upset or was she being a sore loser?
First, she wore a special “catsuit” created to prevent blood clots (which had almost killed her) in the French Open. This was rejected by French Open officials, who started “One must respect the game and the place,” and she showed up in a black tutu for the US Open.
She then protested an umpire’s call — definitely nothing worse than what the male players do, according to tennis fans — and was fined $17,000.
According to Aminatou Sow, this soured the match for both players. Naomi won, but both opponents were crying. Of course, Serena was a sweetheart to Naomi.
THEN, an Australian cartoonist created an awful, clearly racist cartoon that portrayed her as a Sambo-like negress and her opponent as a white, thin, blonde girl (Osaka is a woman of color). It’s so totally offensive that we’re not even going to link to it or show it.
In the press conference afterward, clearly downtrodden and disappointed, Serena said:
I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say [the umpire]’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. 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 taken a game from a man because they said “thief.”
See this video, which starts at 8:45.
What we should all be asking is: Why do women, and especially black women, have to “overcome” all of this pushback? Serena is a competitor at the top of her sport and should be able to focus on training and winning, not on fighting back against officials. The white, male officials must not like that she’s a big black woman (all three of those words may be the problem) and she’s not “in her place.”… which would probably be “not on the court” in the first place, if they had their way. How strong do black women need to be to succeed?
Or are we totally wrong and she is just whiny and a sore loser?
But right now, we’re thinking maybe the officials at the US Open should be over there in our Gallery of Offenders. How about you?