A popular professional tennis player who has previously complained about sexism wound up back in the news again Saturday after repeated outbursts during the U.S. Open Tennis Championships ultimately cost her what could have been a victory.
Umpire Carlos Ramos of Portugal warned Serena Williams against receiving instructions from her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who had been caught on video gesturing directions to her.
Moments later Williams reportedly smashed her racket in anger after losing a round to her competitor, Naomi Osaka of Japan. Because of Williams’ previous warning, this time Ramos went ahead and deducted a full point from her for receiving coaching and losing her temper.
Watch him coaching her below:
Unfortunately, losing a point only made the tennis star angrier, so she lashed out at the umpire by accusing him of being a “thief,” claiming he’d stolen a point from her and demanding an apology from him for performing his job.
She also argued with referee Brian Earley and complained of alleged sexism, saying, “There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things and because they’re a man, that doesn’t happen to them.”
In response to this “verbal abuse,” Ramos then deducted another point from Williams, thus leaving her with too few points to eke out a victory against Osaka.
Thanks to the point deductions, Williams ultimately lost to Osaka, a fact that didn’t sit well with her fans. They began booing during the post-game award ceremony, to which the hotheaded tennis star responded by telling her fans to stop.
“I just want to tell you guys she played well and this is her first Grand Slam,” she implored to her fans.
During a press conference following her stunning loss, Williams doubled down on her claims of sexism.
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things, and I’m here fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality and all kinds of stuff, but for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game? It made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean, he’s never taken a game from a man because he said thief. For me, it blows my mind,” she said.
A number of Twitter users seemed to agree.
“Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him,” one woman complained.
“In 10 years I won’t remember who won the 2018 US Open. But I will remember the day Serena Williams stood up for herself and rightfully so on a bad call even with the consequences,” another Twitter user opined.
See more reactions below:
I love you so much @serenawilliams this isn’t the face of someone who “melted down”. This is the face of a black woman who has been overly drug tested, penalized, & body shamed. Graciously, abides by your rules. And who’s character is still questioned. #SerenaWilliams we see u? pic.twitter.com/WoAjISVPN5
— .? (@lipsNsunflowers) September 9, 2018
it amazes me that when a black woman has something to say or voices her frustration she is “losing her mind”
— Big C Got Game ?? (@bigcgotgame) September 9, 2018
Don’t get what’s happening. Ever since Serena Williams became a mom, she has been attacked by various Tennis sportsmen for all sorts of reasons. It’s like they can’t stand to see a black female athlete so successful both at work and at home ? #SerenaWilliams #USOpen
— WildestDreams15 (@WDreams15) September 9, 2018
This whole @serenawilliams this really frustrates me. If the rules were applied consistently for men and women, then she should be penalized. But they are not!! So get over yourself, she was standing up for herself!! #SerenaWilliams #usopen
— Tamlyn Brink (@tamlynbrink) September 9, 2018
But for every tweet issued in defense of Williams, there were dozens that blasted her for allegedly being a “spoiled brat”:
Horrible spoiled brat. Instead of paranoid, spurious claims of ‘sexism ‘ you should be apologising for the horrific example you set to young tennis fans @serenawilliams #SerenaWilliams
— ? (@goodoldmaskell) September 9, 2018
Am I the only person who thought Serena Williams’ behaviour in today’s US Open final was disgraceful? Zero respect, embarrassing and utterly shamed by the true class of her apponent. Tennis legend yes but spoiled brat who thinks she’s the only woman to ever give birth too. Ugh!
— MattyBoyH (@HensherMatt) September 9, 2018
I am a Black woman & cldn’t disagree more. Serena didn’t face sexism or racism on court, she broke her racket & went on a rant. Penalizing an entire game is extreme, but she isn’t innocent. It’s a disservice 2 invoke race&gender. Serena acts like a spoiled brat & becomes a victim
— Nicole H. (@NicoleH54811174) September 9, 2018
— JP Pretorius (@jppretorius7) September 9, 2018
#SerenaWilliams acting like a petulant poor loser accusing the umpire of sexism over quite rightly penalising her outburst in accordance with the rules.
— Jay ????? #FBPE. (@jay_navarre) September 9, 2018
So Serena Williams cheats, gets caught, is punished and then plays the sexism card ?? sore loser and probably ruined the greatest moment in her opponents life to make it all about her… poor form #SerenaWilliams #SerenaVsOsaka #soreloser
— Carl Edwards (@carl_edwards85) September 9, 2018
Serena Williams is a spoilt brat. If she was a child she’d be on the naughty step. Definitely not a role model. Throwing false racism & sexism accusations is appalling. Very poor. #SerenaWilliams #SerenaVsOsaka #Serena #SerenaVsOsaka #serenadisgrace https://t.co/sLgCVQr8L3 pic.twitter.com/q8t6lhORci
— Michael Longworth (@mikeyjl) September 9, 2018
#SerenaWilliams #USOpenTennis #metoo Welcome to the Metoo world where a classless bully, thug, and bad loser can act like a spoilt child, ruin another woman’s big day and blame the outcome on sexism! Role model? Pathetic!
— Frank Roots (@Cyncoed61) September 9, 2018
#SerenaWilliams it’s nothing to do with the decision being sexism. He was purely enforcing the rules and your bad attitude. You are a thief and should apologise to #Naomi_Osaka for robbing the joy of winning her first grand slam. The crowd should be ashamed too. #USOpen
— Mike (@RealMikeTanuki) September 9, 2018
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