US Open officials are feeling the heat after being accused of making a blatantly sexist decision to punish a female tennis player.
French tennis player Alize Cornet was struck with a code violation after she momentarily took off her shirt to turn it around while on a heat break at the tournament in New York where temperatures reached the mid-90’s Tuesday.
Cornet realized she accidentally put sports top on the wrong way as she walked back to the court for her match against Swedish player Johanna Larsson. Turning her back to cameras, the World No. 31 player took a few mere seconds to take off the top, revealing her black sports bra, and flipping it around.
Chair umpire, Christian Rask, found the move inappropriate and hit the 28-year-old with the strange code violation. Female players are not allowed to change attire while on the court, according to the Women’s Tennis Association rulebook. But if the need to enforce that rule was not enough to be called out by fans, the sexist double standard really infuriated them.
Male players, in contrast, are not subject to the same rule and can freely change on the court – a much needed move when the temperatures are soaring.
According to Deadspin:
A “heat rule” was in full effect today, which allows longer-than-usual breaks in between certain sets (after the second set for women and after the third set for men). The break is just 10 minutes, though, which isn’t that long to cool off, change, hydrate, and prepare once again to step onto the blazing 100-plus degree courts.
The controversy erupted just days after the French Open issued a ban on Serena Williams’ black catsuit, prompting a scathing call to end the “policing of women’s bodies” by tennis legend Billie Jean King.
The policing of women’s bodies must end. The “respect” that’s needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies. https://t.co/ioyP9VTCxM
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 25, 2018
Twitter users unloaded on the”ridiculous” and “sexist” rule, slamming US Open officials on social media for Cornet’s treatment and the unfair code in general.
“Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation,” Scottish tennis coach, Judy Murray, said in a tweet that went viral. “Unsportsmanlike conduct….. but the men can change shirts on court.”
Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct….. ?
But the men can change shirts on court. https://t.co/sCN4KDXYTb
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 28, 2018
“Ridiculous,” former Australian tennis player, Casey Dellacqua, responded.
— caseydellacqua (@caseydellacqua) August 28, 2018
Bethanie MattekSands, an American tennis player, also commented, “that’s weak!”
? that’s weak!
— Bethanie MattekSands (@matteksands) August 28, 2018
Others minced no words condemning the ruling and its sexism.
Busted for code violation ? #alizecornet took 10 sec to turn top right way but #novacdjokovic can sit for minutes half-naked. Same comp. Days after @serenawilliams slammed for disrespecting tennis because she wore a #catsuit. Not fair. Not right. Tell your daughters ? pic.twitter.com/pJILnwvUvG
— Alissa Warren (@alissawarren) August 29, 2018
This is ridiculous. Male tennis players strip their shirts off all the time without a penalty. There is no reason #alizecornet should be penalized for this. It’s a completely sexist decision. https://t.co/9CE1y97Hv6
— Rosemarie Relic (@motherofsuns) August 29, 2018
Would a player (male or female) be given this same amount of time to tie their shoe lace without penalty? Probably. Check that, definitely!
— Tash O’Brien (@tashfive5) August 29, 2018
Apparently it’s still 1920 and seeing a woman’s unclothed belly would cause many to need a fainting couch.
— ?️?JettaAngeli?️??? (@JettaAngeli) August 29, 2018
So, hold on… Novak can take his shirt off because of extreme heat & that’s ok. But Alize #Cornet takes a minute to turn her shirt around (with a bra on, BTW), & we’re all losing our minds?!?! Right ??♀️#USOpen #everydaysexism #youseemoreatthebeachhttps://t.co/tGfLKdhwDk
— Jane-Elise Cherry (@jecherry_SP) August 29, 2018
god forbid that @alizecornet wears a sports bra, at a SPORTING event, and gets a code violation???? Unbelievably sexist considering the men do it all the time. #usopen18 #Unbelievable #Disgrace pic.twitter.com/BRzowM5CfX
— Snezana Petreski (@nenska1) August 29, 2018
Once again women’s bodies are being policed in the sport of tennis. This time an umpire thinks we should be protected from a glimpse of Alize Cornet’s sensible sports bra. As if we don’t see more flesh exposed on a beach. https://t.co/OsrXOMOJTj
— Dangerous Meredith (@DangerousMere) August 29, 2018
— Lyla (@itslyla) August 29, 2018
— Pussy Bow Coup (@heatherswan) August 29, 2018
It’s utterly ridiculous. The rules need to change AND the head umps need to exercise better judgement. https://t.co/DqAUmVt9lx
— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphySF) August 29, 2018
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